REST API Notes for 2017/05/17

Howdy! It has been a while. What began as a brief and unstated hiatus turned into several months in a blink of an eye. During that time I was on the road organizing, training, and attending API events of all stripes. Airport productivity has never been my strength, and a quarter's worth of travel pared down writing to all but the barest of essentials.

Thankfully, a slowdown in commitments happens to coincide with an uptick in some really fantastic articles being posted. Here's the RESTful API pieces that have lodged themselves firmly in my browser's tabs.


A decade+ into creating RESTful APIs, I sometimes take the simple stuff for granted, assuming that everyone has the same experience. Mark Nottingham has a great piece entitled "How to Think About HTTP Status Codes". Leveraging the http standard should be a simple matter. And yet I see major internet service providers (cough Box cough) deviate in subtle and unexpected ways.

Speaking of RESTful API basics, Romain Huet has a post, through Programmable Web, entitled "Building for Builders: Stripe's 8 Tips for Designing APIs and Supporting Developers". Is this a list of resource-this and JSON-that? Not at all. There's a host of things that API developers should consider before the nuances of protocol. Romain's piece does fantastic job of ticking off what those are and why they are important. For more in this vein check out Kyle Wild's post, "How to Build a Beautiful API Business".


Mike Amundsen has a new O'Reilly book out entitled RESTful Web Clients. The subtitle is "Enabling Reuse through Hypermedia". While I have yet to dig into the book, the video from his appearance at the Craft Conference has been posted. "Twelve Patterns for Hypermedia Microservices" focuses on how to safely evolve a system over time without causing undue pain on the part of client applications.


One thing that I probably don't focus enough on is the entire tool chain that supports successful API deployments. Good API design is important. But all that effort is for not if there's questionable infrastructure behind it.

Howard Dierking takes a moment to posit about what a next generation API Gateway would look like. Even if theoretical "what-ifs" aren't your thing, the framing of what he wants sharply illustrates what we have today. And, before you go assuming this is only for operation wonks, he touches on the shadow behind so much of API transformation within companies: cultural change.


Despite my airport milieu, I've been keeping up with API events at If you have a get together of note, I'm happy to add it - just let me know.

Until next time,
Matthew (@libel_vox)

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