O’Reilly Network: Meerkat: An Open Service API

“You want to know where the future is? No, not plastics. The
future, my friends, is Web APIs. I’m not talking here about Web
applications (or “Weblications”) themselves, but their public
interfaces, those parts of themselves they choose to

“An API (application program interface) is the public interface
provided by an application for communication with external
applications and programmers. This interface can be as simple as a
set of supported parameters/arguments or as advanced as specific
services (also known as methods or functions) that may be called

“There’s been considerable attention of late given to the
wonders and power of Open Source. Not much is said, however, about
the array of Open Services out there that are every bit as valuable
as source code. Brian Behlendorf, President of the Apache Software
Foundation and Founder and CTO of Collab.Net, a company that
provides tools and services for Open Source development, writes: “I
think it’s fine to have a world where open and closed source
software speak – by far the most important thing is that the
protocols and APIs be stable and open and free from encumberance,
that the software source code is open is secondary.” (Editor’s
note: Collab.Net is affiliated with O’Reilly & Associates.)
Open APIs are the lifeblood of the Web developer. Whether such
interfaces are simply a side effect of the way in which the
application is written or intentionally left open for public use,
you’d be amazed at how they’re used.”


Get the Free Newsletter!

Subscribe to Developer Insider for top news, trends, & analysis