The Future is Compatible: The Role of API Description in Development
The future is compatible. If communications between applications were as simple to create as the plumbing in a building, it would be much easier for developers to write revolutionary code. But isn’t that easier said than done?
Not if you have the right tools! Thanks to APIs, we have the technical capabilities for Star Wars level software! However, our difficulties communicating our ideas both with one another and with computers is holding us back.
In short, there are a few major problems with the way humans and computers communicate today.
- The lack of standardization: With many different languages and environments, it is more difficult for developers to ensure that different systems can communicate with one another.
- The lack of proper API documentation: Too often developers do not document their code. If they do, there is no guarantee that it was done correctly, or that it will make sense to others.
- Human error: Even with perfect API documentation practices, it’s possible that another reader will misinterpret or be unable to understand the document, leading to further errors.
These problems combine to create the biggest problem of all: things that could be simply automated aren’t.
Luckily, an answer to these issues already exists: the OpenAPI Specification. The OpenAPI Specification [formerly known as the Swagger Specification] allows developers to use metadata to describe APIs in a way that both humans and computers can understand. This way, communication can become reliable instead of complicated, and errors are easy to find and simpler to fix during the development process.
If communication is easy, then developers can spend more of their time and energy on logic. This, surely, will lead to more and more game-changing developments.
Want to learn more? Watch our presentation from this year’s Atlantec Festival.