REST API Notes for 2015/11/18

Greetings all!

Today is a special day. In Austin, TX three days of API discussion, debate, and debacles is about to get underway at the API Strategy and Practice conference. As is often the case with these sort of events, I'll be unable to attend in person. However, I'll be following the hashtag on Twitter ( #apistrat ). I've found that to be a great way to get speaker slides, identify emerging threads of interest, and spot important thought leaders. Nothing beats being there in person. But, thankfully, there are alternatives for those who want to follow along.


Speaking of conferences, Roy T. Fielding, author of the original REST specification, spoke at an Adobe event last week. He shared "A bit of REST" (PDF). The slides contain a set of clarifications of what RESTful APIs are, and what they are not.

There was also some great material that emerged from last week's Defrag event held in Broomfield, CO. Tyler Singletary had a great message in his presentation, "APIs are for humans". As much as we may discuss the automation possibilities with hypermedia APIs, that vast majority of API work still occurs by people creating experience for other people. As a result, we can never underestimate the need for communicating these machine bits of functionality in human-friendly ways.


Hypermedia APIs have seemed to be just on the cusp for the past several years. And, for the past several years, the theory has been trumped by reality. Luke Stokes, writing on medium, shares "Why Your Colleagues Still Don't Understand Hypermedia APIs". There are several important points. Perhaps, most interestingly, the issue of communicating to other people is highlighted.


Finally, I'll end with a piece on API governance from Mike Amundsen. In my new role with Capital One, I've been wrestling with just how rigid our processes need to be in order to deliver consistent and cohesive developer experiences. Painting rules in stark black and whites makes simple judgment calls. However, while there are places where rigidity is important, Mike (correctly) states that there are other places where that inflexibility creates a liability. Being able to identify the difference is essential to a successful API governance program.


Again, best wishes to all those attending this year's API Strategy and Practice conference. Also, remember the Paris API Days conference is coming up this December. For these, and more, great RESTful API events check out

Until next time,

Matthew (@libel_vox)

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