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What about hypermedia?

When talking or writing about my research, I typically use the term web APIs and avoid the term REST APIs. The reason is that many APIs to not fully comply with the constraints required by the REST architectural style - specifically, most do not use hypermedia as the engine of application state (HATEOAS), which is one of REST’s sub constraint regarding a uniform interface (read REST’s creator Roy Fielding emphasizing this constraint). In the last two years researching APIs, I did, honestly though, barely think about hypermedia. My visit at the WS-REST workshop this summer as part of the ICWE conference changed that. I met researchers advocating the advantages of hypermedia, leading to some interesting discussions. Since the workshop, I took some time to reflect on the topic and read up different opinions. This post is a summary of my current thinking on the matter.

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Learning How Web APIs Are Used through Big Code Analysis of GitHub

Consider the following scenario that all developers will be familiar with: You are writing code to call a web API (let’s go with Instagram). You consult Instagram’s online API documentation which lists all available endpoints. For each endpoint, you observe the query and payload parameters – cool. However, if you have never invoked the API and don’t know exactly what endpoint you are looking for, it is tedious to navigate through the 30+ provided endpoints. In addition, even when you select the endpoint that appears to do what you need, what value should you use for each query parameter or the request payload?

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Essentials for Promoting Web APIs

When developing a web API it is essential that developers are able to go from 0 to productive in a very short order, think minutes. Fortunately, industry has become very good at this over the past couple of years and API providers are starting to consolidate on a consistent model of what information is made available and how it is presented.

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