REST API Notes for 2016/05/31


Posing Google v Oracle as a referendum on the legality of all APIs is an exaggeration. But there were plenty within the API community that feared what an Oracle victory would mean. Thankfully, we can delay those thinkpieces until Oracle's appeal. For now, Google is a winner, fair use rules the day, and we can postpone the torturous analogies about what an API is for another day.


Another week, another conference. This time we switch to the 2016 Gluecon Conference in Broomfield, Colorado. If you weren't hashtag camping the Twitter stream last week, no sweat! Here's the quick recap:

  •, touting itself as "the Wikipedia for Web APIs" waspublicly released. It differs from, which is built on the machine-readable APIs.json spec, in that, like Wikipedia, is editable by anyone, not just the API creator. It is from SmartBear, the company behind the Swagger API description format.
  • James Higginbotham had not one, but two fantastic pieces that dropped last week. The first was a post asking "What Skills do your APIs Offer"? The next was the slide deck "Applying Domain Driven Design to APIs and Microservices".
  • Apiary's Emmanuel Paraskakis presented a deck on "Scaling the API Flow". As Emmanuel correctly points out, just having the "right" API standards, self-evident in all their correctness, isn't enough. API governance benefits from the deft application of tools.
  • Restlet's Guillaume Laforge had, perhaps, one of the best titled set of slides: "A five-sided prism polarizing Web API development". If you were debating the pros and cons of how to start API development ("Test-first"? "Design-first"? "Data-first"?) then this is the talk for you.
  • The last deck is from John Musser, the Founder and CEO of API Science. He has a presentation entitled "How API Ops is the next wave for DevOps". As more API creators begin dealing with the realities of the entire API lifecycle, the ability to deploy, monitor, and support mature API products will push this to the fore.


While not shared at Gluecon, Greg Turnquist's "REST, SOAP, and CORBA, i.e. how we got here" is a fantastic primer on why RESTful API design has become so dominate. It also illustrates just how easy it is to fall into brittle, RPC patterns - even while REST'ing.


Finally, I wanted to thank those that rallied together and contributed to the crowdfund for API community icon, Kin Lane. Early last week, Kin announced he was pausing his API evangelism in order to take care of family matters. Many, myself included, owe much of our professional success to Kin's encouragement. Kin briefly surfaced from the wilderness to express how humbled he was (and remind us what a miracle indoor plumbing is). It made me proud to be a member of the API community.

As another aside, the Nordic APIs Platform Summit is this October in Stockholm, Sweden. There's still time if you've got a talk that you'd be interested in sharing or you would be willing to sponsor. I've updated with not only that event, but API Meetups worldwide for the next month. If I am missing anything, let me know!

Till next time,

Matthew (@libel_vox)

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