Net API Notes for 2019/01/24

New year, new name!

As I mentioned before the holiday break, the API landscape is changing. Therefore, the time seemed right to do a name refresh for REST API Notes. 'Web APIs' is used some places, like in this excellent Mike Ralphson piece". However, after I mentioned I might adopt that for this newsletter, Mark Nottingham pointed out that that "Web APIs" is an in-browser API described by WebIDL.

The W3C had spoken. And naming things remains hard.

Google refers to APIs communicating over the wire via HTTP as "network APIs". While I continue to see experimentation with the interface description methods, it feels unlikely we're going to see a different transport protocol anytime soon. A re-brand to "Net API Notes" seems descriptive while accommodating of industry diversification.

'REST API Notes' had a good run. But here's to a Net API Notes future!

Now, before someone else writes to inform me of why this new name is still problematic, let's get to the notes!



Held in mid-December last year, the API Days Paris event attracted nearly 3000 attendees to discuss the past, present, and future of API practice. Their YouTube channel has been updated with talk recordings for many (if not all) of their speakers.

I haven't had a chance to take in all the content. However, picking through both the positive Twitter reaction and skimming the channel, I've pulled out some of the highlights that might be worth further study:

  • Long time readers know I love me a good case study. Matthieu Breen has a deck entitled "APIs: Theory vs Practice - an Honest Review of ARTE's API Strategy" (slides, video). Watching Matthiew describe how ARTE's strategy evolved, I'm reminded of Daniel Jacobson's "experience layer" writing.
  • Speaking of my loves, Ruben Verborgh presented on "The Impact of Decentralization on APIs and Clients". His proposed "Solid Ecosystem" is enabled by hypermedia and JSON-LD. It is an attempt to reassert the early promise of the web via APIs. I need to spend some more time thinking about implementation, but it is great to see what I've discussed privately with friends being championed publicly by others.
  • Laure Jouffre, from Orange, has a talk near and dear to my research interests entitled "API Culture Enabling Bi Modal IT". I'm immediately intrigued whenever somebody addresses how APIs are adopted across the Innovator/Early-Adopters/Early-Majority/Late-Majority/Laggards gaps. While Bi Modal IT, as a concept, has come under criticism lately (notably from Simon Wardley) there's still plenty of context from this presentation that I vigorously nodded in agreement with.


I wanted to highlight a great piece by Mike Ralphson (the second mention in the same note! ba-ZING!). In "Why there is no such thing as the Richardson Maturity Model" he unpacks an oft referenced (but only somewhat understood) adage of API practice. Revisiting first principles, he reaffirms the important bits while highlighting where things went off the rails. Edifying stuff.


Not to be outdone, Christian Posta started 2019 will a hella of a knowledge bomb entitled "API Gateways are Going Through an Identity Crisis". Come for the welcome clarifying definitions of many buzzy terms (API Management, API Gateways, the API Gateway pattern, Service meshes, Kubernetes, etc.). Stay for the thought provoking analysis of the Faustian bargain some enterprise software vendors seems to be making in a bid for greater relevance.



While the time off was welcome, it's good to be back researching, aggregating, and synthesizing. Hopefully you've gotten off on a good start to the year, too!

As I previously mentioned, I'm hiring a Principle Data Analyst to join the team at my day job. There is an "evergreen" job description available for those that want some insight into the general expectations. If you have a passion for telling powerful stories using data, let's talk. Send me an email with a little about yourself and let's see if there is a match.

I also, recently, updated If something is missing just let me know; I'd be happy to add to it.

As always, thanks to my Patreon sponsors. Their support of this newsletter,, and more is greatly appreciated.

Till next time, Matthew

@libel_vox and

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