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What is an API? How does it work? (venturelessons.com)
14 points by robertakarobin 30 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 6 comments

I don't know, this seems incredibly web-centric, apart from a brief comment that "Microsoft Word uses your computer’s storage API to find files".

"The term API seems to appear for the first time in the article of Ira W. Cotton, Data structures and techniques for remote computer graphics, published in 1968. " - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application_programming_interf...

Looong before the advent of web programming. I'd expect a more in depth discussion of API's to at least mention lower level API's like WinAPI, POSIX etc, and how higher level API's are usually created to wrap, or to aggregate existing API's.

After all, the vast majority of SOAP and XML-RPC API's are leveraging those lower level API's to begin with.

You're absolutely right. This article is geared toward people who are brand-new to programming, and in turn is geared toward people learning about programming through web development.

As some one who’s learning to code in my spare time, this is fantastic.

Use of the term 'API' appears to be this decade's 'algorithm'.

It's just an agreed on set of rules about how we're going to exchange data (aka, compute something).

I like the word contract for this. Especially because you ought to break things when you change the contract. Maintaining backwards compatibility is quite fascinating, think how Windows for instance manages version compatibility with using "struct size" parameters for instance and app manifests.

I usually map Interface to contract. But i grew up on c#, so that probably makes sense.

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