Tuesday, 17 May 2016

The Worst API Ever Made



Originally posted at:
https://mollyrocket.com/casey/stream_0029.html
found via reddit @ /r/programming


In response to last week’s post, I received the following e-mail:
I might be a little late for a question about your recent post, but just in case I'm not: Do you have any strategies for, or stories about, dealing with an external library that you couldn't get rid of that violated some (or all) of these API design guidelines? It's a vague question, but I'm really just asking about any past experience as a user of an API that really sticks out in your mind.
- Michael Bartnett 
This reminded me that I’d always wanted to go write down the steps necessary to use a bad API, just to highlight how terrible it can be for the programmer. I don’t think people who make APIs really appreciate how important it is to get them right, and how much unnecessary work their mistakes can cause for hundreds, thousands, sometimes even millions of other programmers. So I felt like it was important to spend an article walking through an API and showing just how much unnecessary work an API can manufacture. It’d probably be a nice column on its own — a weekly dissection of a bad API. But since I don’t have time for something like that, if I was only going to dissect one API, the most important question was, which API should I choose?

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