Thursday, August 30, 2012

API Design is about Naming

API design is about naming.

A lot of times, it is about choosing a right name, and making sure they makes sense and is consistent throughout.

It is like a little API language of itself, as quoted by Joshua Bloch.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Zapier, the ifttt for developers

Zapier provides a similar service to ifttt, that is to connect web services easily (via API, but without any programming knowledge).

For example, when you have a new Trello card, you can trigger to send a Twilio SMS.

I blogged about ifttt, and that an API might be coming. Zapier just done that.

I have tried adding my RESTful API to Zapier platform, and it took me just 1 hour. Our API wasn't even Perfect, and I took an additional minute to use their scripting API to make things work.

Awesome job, Zapier!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

ChupaMobile Selling ZBarSDK for $16?

I covered ZBar earlier, which is an SDK for reading QR codes or barcodes. I thought ZBar is a free open source, governed by LGPL.

Then I stumbled upon QR Code Reader on Chupa Mobile, selling at $16. It is a obviously ZBar, renamed to that.

I heard of some bad things about Chupa.. some "developers" are uploading open source components and selling them in Chupa marketplace. So I wondered if ZBar is one of them.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Viddy API - Mashery Made, with Interactive Doc

Viddy is an iPhone app that beatify your video, kind of like Instagram for video.

Viddy API is done very nicely, made with Mashery, so you can use the same Mashery credentials to log in. Their interactive doc is also great to use, and seems like they implemented using Wordnik framework, as opposed to Mashery's.

You can also join their "Rule the Beach" developer contest, and stand to win $10,000 and chance to fly to meet them at a beach, I suppose.

ZBarSDK - QR and barcode reader for iPhone

ZBarSDK is an open source library for reading barcodes and QR codes.

It supports the popular iPhone/iOS, and looks like the best library for the job. Creating an app using ZBarSDK is very easy, and they provided example project to help get started.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Twitter API Changes is set to Kill Third-Party Apps

Read an interpretation of Twitter's API changes.

Developers now got to work with more restrictions, display guidelines, ads guidelines, etc.. As many of the third-party apps are competing directly with Twitter's client (iPhone/Mac), it is of no surprise that the Twitter's board are making life hard for them.

It is funny that as a service becomes popular, it's API becomes less useful.

Paymill, the new Payment API

Stripe is the hottest REST API for Payment.

It has now being cloned by the infamous Rocket Internet.

Paymill is the new API, and the differentiating factor now is that it supports Germany. Even it's documentation is in German.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Survey of API Pain Points

Want to know the biggest headaches when in comes to API integration?

Read the survey results from YourTrove, who ran the survey on Hacker News.

Not surprisingly, the pains are:

  • Poor documentation (how you loathe poor documentation)
  • OAuth (oh wow, do you hate OAuth)
  • Poor error handling
  • Lack of example code
  • Lack of test environments
  • Lack of standardized libraries across languages
  • APIs that change/break frequently (huge shout out to Facebook here, like you're surprised)
  • Normalizing data to match internal data structures
  • Line between use and abuse
  • Arbitrary throttling (differences between services)
  • Differing standards (REST v SOAP v XML-RPC, XML v JSON v POST, versioning v not, etc.)
  • Getting services to talk to a dev machine behind a firewall       

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Copify - An API for Copywriting

You might have outsourced your copywriting to,, or even to (for a mere $5)!

Copify is going into a very specific vertical of outsourcing. Or you can call them a niche.

With their network of approved writers, you can easily post your project offer and find someone to do the job.

And Copify takes it to another level with their Copify API! You can POST/GET/PUT/DELETE jobs!

Sunday, August 5, 2012 for REST documentation, like Swagger

1 year ago, I covered Swagger, a REST API documentation framework.

What other alternatives are there 1 year later?

There are a few, of which I like to cover is a pretty cool way to document your API. It works via a blueprint style (a custom DSL). Like this:

Friday, August 3, 2012

Did Twilio Pricing Became Worse?

I remembered Twilio pricing used to be very simple. Only a couple of components (Number, Voice minutes, SMS) all fitted in 1 page.

Now, it seems to be in 3 different pages!

And not to mention that the same number you subscribed could be used across Voice and SMS.