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API

An API (Application Programming Interface) is a collection of protocols and subroutines for building software.
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Increment Icon Increment

What the history of HTTP status codes can tell us about the future of APIs

Darius Kazemi writing in Issue #14 of Increment magazine:

HTTP status codes are largely an accident of history. The people who came up with them didn’t plan on defining a numerical namespace that would last half a century or work its way into popular culture. You see this pattern over and over in the history of technology.

Because technology isn’t immune to historical contingency, it’s important for us as engineers to remember that long-lasting technical inflection points can occur at any time. Sometimes we know these decisions are important when we’re making them. Other times, they seem perfectly trivial.

Corentin Brossault DEV.to

First hands on the new Twitter API

Twitter has officially released its new API, aka version 2. Introduced with an astonishing video and proudly promoted as a rebuild “from the ground up to better support developers”, including business, academic researchers, students, and makers.

I was really excited to see the new opportunities that it brings. While still in an early access phase, I must say that I’m a bit disappointed so far…

OpenAI Icon OpenAI

OpenAI now has an API

For years now I’ve been asking AI/ML experts when these powerful-yet-complicated tools will become available to average developers like you and me. It’s happening! Just look at how high-level this text generation code sample is:

import openai

prompt = """snipped for brevity's sake"""

response = openai.Completion.create(model="davinci",
  prompt=prompt, 
  stop="\n",
  temperature=0.9,
  max_tokens=100)

They’re oftening all kinds of language tasks: semantic search, summarization, sentiment analysis, content generation, translation, and more. The API is still in beta and there’s a waitlist, but this is exciting news, nonetheless.

JS Party JS Party #111

Lesser known things browsers can do in 2020

Did you know you can make a device vibrate via a webpage? Neither did we until we popped open Luigi De Rosa’s super cool repo that collects many of the lesser known things browsers can do in 2020.

On this episode we hang out on his list and discuss which APIs were surprises to us, which we think are the most useful, which we wish would die in a fire (sorta), and what you might get if you mash up a few of these APIs.

Manuel Vila liaison.dev

Do we really need a web API?

Most of the time, web APIs are not functional requirements. They don’t add any value to the product we are building. They are just a necessary evil so the frontend can communicate with the backend. But is that really the case? Wouldn’t it be possible to get rid of these web APIs?

In response to this, Manuel built Liaison, which is still in alpha, but aims to seamlessly bridge the divide between frontend and backend without having to formalize an API between the two.

From reading the post, it appears to be akin to our old friend, RPC. If you are interested enough to dive into the code, he’s put together a RealWorld example which holds up quite well to the competition on a lines-of-code-to-implement basis.

Ballerina blog.ballerina.io

Ballerina goes 1.0

You may have initially heard of Ballerina on episode #313 of The Changelog. Well, the “first cloud native programming language” has finally reached its milestone 1.0 release!

After more than 3 years of hard work by an incredible team, I am thrilled to announce the general availability of Ballerina 1.0!

Congrats to Paul and the team for powering through and shipping something they can be proud of! Check the announcement post for all the details of what “1.0” means for Ballerina.

Manuel Vila github.com

Deepr – an alternative to GraphQL?

Manuel Vila:

What makes GraphQL so exciting is the ability to compose method calls, and Deepr is a way to achieve that and only that. Because everything else, we believe, would be better implemented somewhere else in the stack.

Deepr is being built by folks who’ve been using GraphQL for awhile, love it, and have some ideas about how things might be even better by changing some key decisions. Worth a look, for sure.

The Changelog The Changelog #313

The first cloud native programming language

Jerod talked with Paul Fremantle, the CTO and Co-Founder of WSO2, about their new programming language, Ballerina — a cloud-native language which aims to make it easier to write microservices that integrate APIs. They talked about the creation of the language and how it was inspired by so many technologies, cloud native features like built-in container support, serverless-friendly, observability, and how it works with, or without, a service mesh — just to name a few.

Sarah Perez TechCrunch

Is Twitter breaking Twitter?

Twitter is at it again making controversial changes restricting how the developer community can use their APIs to develop 3rd party Twitter clients. Sarah Perez reports on TechCrunch:

Twitter is breaking users’ favorite third-party Twitter clients like Tweetbot and Twitterific by shutting off APIs these apps relied on. Worse still, is that Twitter isn’t taking full responsibility for its decisions.

In a company email it shared today, Twitter cited “technical and business constraints” that it can no longer ignore as being the reason behind the APIs’ shutdown.

This change sparked the #BreakingMyTwitter hashtag

Rajoshi Ghosh blog.hasura.io

Instant GraphQL on Postgres

Get instant GraphQL APIs on any PostgreSQL database.

We are super thrilled to announce the launch of the Hasura GraphQL Engine, an open source product that gives you instant GraphQL APIs on Postgres. You can try it out here — it will take exactly 30 seconds to deploy to Heroku’s free tier (yes — we counted 😀).

Check out the open source repo on GitHub.

John Resig blog.graphql.guide

Introducing the GraphQL Guide

John Resig and team at Khan Academy implemented a generic GraphQL platform and their development practices changed overnight. The benefits they saw were so substantial that he and Loren Sands-Ramshaw decided to write a book about it.

…we’re using GraphQL in more and more places: we are transitioning older pages over to use GraphQL and have a mandate in place that all new pages need to use GraphQL.

The benefits that we’ve reaped have been so substantial, even though it’s still early days. We’re writing new products faster, we’re able to rapidly iterate on designs, and we’re keeping our server implementation slim.

Wow, “REST APIs now feel quite antiquated…”

I look at how well it’s worked for us and read stories about how GraphQL has changed other organizations, and I can only think that GraphQL is going to dramatically change how we all build APIs going forward. REST APIs now feel quite antiquated by comparison.

Beta chapters of The GraphQL Guide are available now.

Diego Bernardes github.com

Flare – a service that notifies of HTTP endpoint changes

Flare listens to changes on HTTP endpoints and notify subscripted clients about the changes. It help reduce the pressure on APIs by avoiding the clients to do pooling requests to search for new/changed content and the need of the APIs to develop workers to notify the clients about the.

Pitched as useful for microservice architectures, but could find lots of uses outside of that context too.

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