Will JavaScript type annotations kill TypeScript?
The creators of Svelte and Turbo 8 both dropped TS recently saying that "it's not worth it".
Yes: If JavaScript gets type annotations then there's no reason for TypeScript to exist.
No: TypeScript remains the best language for structuring large enterprise applications.
TBD: The existing user base and its corpensource owner means that TypeScript isn’t likely to reach EOL without a putting up a fight.
I hope they both die. I mean, if you really need strong types in the browser then you could leverage WASM and use a real programming language.
I don’t know and I don’t care.
API Management

How to Maintain API Consistency as You Scale

If an API behaves differently at different scales, it can cause problems for the developers who are using it and can make apps perform less reliably. Here's how to design APIs consistently.
Feb 16th, 2023 3:00am by
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API consistency refers to the degree to which an API behaves predictably and reliably across different environments and scenarios. When an API is consistent, developers can trust it to behave the same way in different contexts, making it simpler to use and integrate into their applications.

Scaling an API involves increasing its capacity to handle a larger volume of requests or a higher load; as you do this, you need to keep API consistency in mind.

If an API behaves differently at different scales, it can cause problems for the developers who are using it and can lead to issues with the overall performance and reliability of the application.

Read on to learn more about how to design APIs consistently.

Why Consistency Matters for API Design

Consistency in API design is essential for today’s software engineering landscape. It can guarantee reliability, improve user experience, reduce the need to spend time and resources on maintenance and debugging, and encourage good practices.

When building an API, start by being consistent in the use of snake case or camel case for naming variables and functions. This can help make the API more readable and usable, allowing developers to more easily integrate it with other systems.

Any application depending highly on an API should make sure that it performs consistently and reliably, regardless of the scale of use. Here are some tips for ensuring API consistency while scaling:

Design the API for scaling. Design the API in a way that ensures it can handle a high volume of requests without performance degradation right from the start. This may involve using efficient algorithms, caching data and load-balancing techniques.

Test at different scales. Analyze the API at different scales to ensure it behaves consistently under different loads. This can help identify any potential issues that may arise as the API is being used at varying sizes.

Monitor performance. Monitor the API regularly to identify any inconsistencies or issues that may arise. This will allow for the timely resolution of issues and help maintain API consistency.

Communicate with the developers. Convey any changes made to the API to the developers who are or will be using the API. This will keep them in the know and allow them to adjust their applications as needed.

Creating a Cohesive API

Developing a successful API requires thoughtful planning. Here are some factors to consider for designing an API that is consistent and intuitive.

Naming: Establishing consistent naming conventions for resources, methods and parameters is vital for making the API easy to use. This includes using camel case for resource and parameter names and using action verbs in all upper-case for method names.

Here’s an example in GraphQL for resource and parameter names using camel case:

And an example for method names using action verbs in all uppercase:

Note that in GraphQL, the naming convention for query fields is to use all uppercase characters with underscores separating words, like in the example above. However, when naming types, fields, and input types, the recommended naming convention is to use camel case, like in the UserProfile type.

Resource structure: Keeping the structure of resources consistent is key for developers to access and modify data easily. This includes the structure of resource URLs, the organization of data within resources and the relationships between different resources.

HTTP methods: Using the correct HTTP methods (such as GET, POST, PUT and DELETE) uniformly across the API is necessary for developers to understand how to interact with resources and what actions are allowed.

Response codes: Using HTTP response codes consistently helps developers know the status of their requests and any errors that may have occurred.

Response formats: Using a consistent response format, such as JSON or XML, across the API is important for developers to understand the data that is returned.

Keeping the Consumer in Mind

The review of an API by a subject matter expert can be an immensely beneficial step in the API review process, as it offers a way to get relevant feedback and advice from someone who knows what your intended API user wants. There are several ways to successfully execute a subject matter expert review of your API:

Articulate what the audit should cover.  Explicitly spell out the extent of the API design audit, including which APIs and related documentation will be incorporated.

A comprehensive API design audit should cover the following areas:

  • API functionality: The audit should evaluate the API’s functionality, including the resources, methods and parameters available. It should also assess how well the API meets the needs of customers and provides value in the market.
  • API design: The audit should review the design of the API, including the naming conventions used for resources, methods and parameters, as well as the consistency and clarity of the API documentation.
  • Performance: The audit should assess the performance of the API, including its speed, reliability, scalability, capacity for handling large amounts of data and ability to handle high levels of traffic.
  • Security: The audit should review the security of the API, including its authentication and authorization mechanisms, to assess the risks associated with its use.
  • Integration: The audit should assess the ease of integrating the API with other systems, such as the availability of client libraries and APIs, as well as the quality of the API documentation.
  • Support: The audit should evaluate the level of support available for the API, including the availability of technical documentation, user forums and support channels.

Identify appropriate experts. Locate the subject matter experts who are most qualified to review your API. These can be people with comprehensive knowledge of the area your API serves or professionals in related spheres.

These experts can help you identify potential issues or limitations with your API, suggest ways to improve its functionality and performance, and ensure it meets the needs of your customers. They can also provide valuable insights into industry best practices and standards, helping you create an API that is competitive and provides value in the marketplace.

To find the right subject matter experts, you can reach out to industry associations, attend relevant conferences or events, and network with professionals in related fields. Make sure to choose experts who are not only knowledgeable in their field but also willing to collaborate and provide constructive feedback to help you improve your API.

Collect feedback. Engage the experts in an assessment of your API, either in person or through an online review process. Request their thoughts on the design and function of your API, including any ideas for enhancement.

Study and incorporate feedback. Carefully study the feedback given by the experts and contemplate how you can implement their proposals into your API design. This may necessitate changes to your API’s operation or structure or additional documentation or examples.

Test and validate changes. After assimilating the experts’ feedback, test and validate your API to guarantee that it is running as intended. This may include running either manual or automated tests to make sure that your API is dependable and performs well.

Review and sign off. Review the final API design and documentation to ensure that it meets all requirements and standards. If necessary, seek additional review or sign-off from relevant stakeholders before proceeding to deployment.

Use the API Value Canvas

When it comes to getting the most out of your API, the API Value Canvas is an invaluable tool. It’s a visual representation of the key elements that contribute to the value of an API. The process of filling out the canvas can help you to identify and prioritize the most valuable features and capabilities of your API and communicate its value to stakeholders.

A blank template for a value proposition canvas.

You can adapt and fill in this value proposition canvas template to identify and prioritize the most valuable features of your API and show its value to your stakeholders.

Using the API Value Canvas, you can start by identifying the customer segment that your API is intended to serve. This can help you to get a better understanding of the needs of your customer base so you can create an API that meets those needs.

Next, you should define the problem or opportunity your API is addressing and describe the solution it offers. This can help you to position your API in the market and ensure it is addressing your customers’ needs.

Finally, identify the key metrics that will be used to measure the value of your API, such as adoption rates, usage levels or revenue generated. This can help you to track the performance and impact of your API over time, and understand how well it is serving your customers and contributing toward your business objectives.

Make a DevEx Connection

Designing and improving the developer experience of an API can be made easier with the DevEX API value canvas. This tool, based on the value proposition canvas, is used to map the value that a product or service offers to customers. As a result, teams can design and improve the developer experience of their API in a structured and effective manner.

The DevEX API value canvas can help you identify two important components of the API you’re creating: its value proposition and its pain points. The former includes the unique benefits and value that the API offers to developers, such as convenience, performance and access to useful data or functionalities.

Meanwhile, the latter outlines the challenges and frustrations developers might experience when using the API, such as tough authentication, deficient documentation or slow response times.

By plotting these two components on the canvas, teams can identify where the API is delivering value as well as where it is causing difficulty. This can help you and your team prioritize improvements and focus on creating a better developer experience.

Elements that can be included in the DevEX API value canvas include ease of integration, documentation, security, performance, functionality and support.

Let’s say a company has developed a self-driving car API that provides real-time information and control over self-driving vehicles. The company wants to assess the developer experience offered by its API and make improvements, if necessary.

The team can use the DevEX API value canvas to assess the API’s value proposition.

  • Ease of integration: The team should assess the API’s documentation to ensure that clear instructions are provided on how to integrate the API into applications. Sample code, libraries and tools should also be available to facilitate the integration process.
  • Documentation: The team can evaluate the quality and accessibility of the API’s documentation, such as tutorials, reference materials and examples to ensure that it is easy to understand and provides all the necessary information for developers to use the API effectively.
  • Security: The team can assess the API’s security features, such as authentication, encryption and access control to ensure that the API provides a secure experience for developers and end-users.
  • Performance: The team can assess the API’s speed, reliability and scalability to guarantee a seamless and responsive experience for developers and end users.
  • Functionality: The team can evaluate the API’s features and capacities to guarantee that it offers developers the necessary tooling, including real-time vehicle monitoring, route mapping and autonomous control.
  • Support: The team can evaluate the availability and quality of support resources, such as forums, email and phone support to ensure that developers have access to the assistance they need when using the API.

With these components in mind, teams can easily assess the effectiveness of their API and make necessary changes to provide a better UX.

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