Geekish Stuff

Another Review: How to Design a Good API and Why it Matters

Date published: 9-Dec-2007
1 min read / 205 words
Author: braceta


How many of you tried to write a complete good API? Well, perhaps not so many. An API is only good if is intended to be used by others. But if you are a software engineer you must ensure if it will be used, you will invest your time doing it right from the start.

Joshua Bloch gave a very interesting talk at Google focusing this subject. Some key points where highlighted to have in mind when designing a good API.

It was a nice talk, mainly because Joshua is a good orator therefore captures your attention trough the whole session. Nevertheless he haven't got time to finish the talk skipping the two last chapters. Don't ask me why but google seems strict when concerning to time session (maybe there's no more tape to record? :) ).

Some key points to save from talk:

  • When doubt let it out: you can add it later
  • Keep your API Specification short and simple
  • Method and Class names are Important
  • Fail fast: return errors as soon as possible

I rate 4 stars of 5 for the importance of the subject. I only give 4 because the talk is not complete. Even though you can infer the rest from the slides.