Sensible Web API Design for people who really should know better

Chris Neugebauer, University of Tasmania

Track: Web & HTML5; Audience: Intermediate

Behind every mobile app that does something even remotely useful is a network API, and more often than not, this API will be delivered over HTTP in JSON format.

Developers love JSON, because it’s less restrictive than XML, and it’s easier than crafting your own data format. Developers hate JSON because it’s less restrictive than XML — it’s near impossible to verify, and small errors in a server-side implementation of a format can make for convoluted error handling in clients for years to come.

And then there’s HTTP — a feature-rich protocol, that can handle advanced querying, with great semantics for timeliness and formatting… Not that any server developer ever uses any of these.

If you’re a server developer, this talk will show you ways to make sure that your web-based API doesn’t suck, how to make it maintainable, and how to keep it easy for developers on every platform.

If you’re a mobile developer, this talk will equip you with the tools you need to force your server developer to make things easy for you.

This mostly code-free talk is a sequel to my popular 2011 talk, but covers entirely new material, but you’ll get value out of it, regardless of whether you attended that talk.