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Determining What Makes a Good API

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Have You Ever Wondered...?

Have you ever searched for the root reason why some of APIs you liked more than others? Are those APIs that you liked the most also those most easily usable? I was thinking about this a lot. First of all I broaden the meaning of the term API and let the chapter 3 define what it means an API, explain why and enumerate various APITypes. Then I also look at the basic objective criteria to ensure an API is really good, that it is an example of Good Technology.


The shortest answer to the question "What is an API?" is: Everything somebody else can depend on. The emphasis in the previous sentence is being placed on can - it is not used in the meaning of may! As grandma used to reply: Can I go out? Sure, you can. But you may not!

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