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Thank you. I agree with you. | 52 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Thank you. I agree with you.
Authored by: jbb on Monday, April 23 2012 @ 06:48 PM EDT
I Googled the quote. It's from this article. I see what you are saying and I agree with you. OTOH, I can't fault PJ's friend too much for starting with a simpler explanation that just includes the signatures and not the meanings. If I were asked by a non-technical person to explain what an API is I would probably use an explanation similar to what PJ's friend used, trying to distinguish the API from the library that implements the API. Sometimes the best explanation is not the same thing as the best definition.

I agree with you that the meanings are an important part of an API. This is a subtle point that many people will miss on their first attempt at pinning down what an API actually is. I tried to explain this in early March in a post called an API is an instruction set but it was not well received. My point was that once you see that at its core an API is a mapping between signatures and meanings then there are other things such as instruction sets that have this same general form. I still don't understand why I failed so badly when I tried to communicate this idea.

---
Our job is to remind ourselves that there are more contexts than the one we’re in now — the one that we think is reality.
-- Alan Kay

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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