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Show HN: Auxl – Modular API Client for macOS (auxl.io)
78 points by theFluke 8 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 35 comments

What are some reasons you'd use this over free open source software alternatives like : https://insomnia.rest/ , https://install.advancedrestclient.com/install , or https://github.com/frigus02/RESTer ?

Auxl has a modular design, which can make chaining requests more intuitive. It’s also native, which still matters to many.

Also support for Websockets and chaining those w/ rest calls. (I know insomnia doesn't support this, dunno about others)

I'm guessing you mean "local" rather than "native" as the alternatives posted in previous comment are native for their platform too, just like Auxl.

I meant native as in not fully built with web technology. Which, if I'm not mistaken, the alternatives posted in the previous comment are.

I’m personally not sure that is a factor for many users, a good web app is as good as a good native app on modern hardware

I guess it depends how you define many, but I’ll take a native application over HTML any day.

Many macbook developers do care if it's a native app or a battery draining chrome embedded app.

Kinda defeats the purpose of having a specialized CPU, OS & software to optimize battery usage.

that matters, at least to me. that makes me prefer Paw over Insomnia and Sublime/neovim-kitty over VSCode

I have pretty beefy hardware so I don't notice the diff in terms of performance. I do however appreciate that the battery life isn't sucked down hard by native apps the way electron does. just having chrome open significantly affects my battery life.

I only want apps built with Electron or similar! Makes it easy for me to switch platforms, they get developed faster, they're easier for me to contribute to and they are infinitely more hackable.

Imagine optimizing your dev tools for battery life? As if I want to work on a single tiny screen all day...or in meetings, hotels, planes, trains...

Others do like to travel and be able to work without their battery dying within a couple hours.

If you like wasting your battery that's fine, but not the typical use case for someone with a portable device.

The screen size thing is a separate issue and alleviated by using screen switching gestures or a secondary screen using an iPad.

What are the typical use-cases for things like this?

I've used Paw and Postman in the past, but never for more than 2 endpoints in one go, never for more than an hour or so in one session. I've only ever got value out of them as "slightly quicker than a Python notebook" solutions for testing out a hypothesis.

The only other thing I can think of is maybe as a way to pass the understanding of an API's nuances from one developer to another, but I've never needed to do that at any higher level than writing the one-weird-trick to make it work into an email to pass on that knowledge.

I personally often need the output from one service as input for another. With the new input often requiring a transformation. Auxl can function as a low friction environment to organise that without it getting cluttered.

I also think a lot of API clients tend to obfuscate flows like, for example, an OAuth authentication. Making each step visible and having that extra granularity can help with customisation and debugging.

Other than that, purely from a usability perspective, I think it’s fun to use.

Auxl looks good in that respect but maybe I wasn't clear enough in my question.

What's the typical use-case of apps that let you make requests to APIs via a GUI?

I've used them _briefly_ as part of a development process before, but never enough to justify buying one (I'd just spend a couple of minutes longer to write a Python script). Is that what most people are using them for? Am I missing a use-case?

It’s a tool in a developers toolbox. Some use it, some don’t. Similar to the debugger vs printf debate.

These apps can be useful for testing, developing and exploring APIs and they can function as GUI for services that don’t have one.

For example a former client used Postman as a client to perform administrative tasks for which there was no UI yet. Most of these tools have feature to save common request flows and share them with your team.

I think the market here is people that can't or won't crank out a script or CLI to do the same thing. That audience has become relatively fair in size as programming has grown.

Paw's great for figuring out someone else's poorly documented API. Sure I could code up the equivalent, but not going to waste cycles reinventing a tool that pays for itself in less than an hour of saved time

I think it's a creature-comfort for webdevs who don't like getting their hands dirty.

The “pay for it once, own it forever” is appealing. However. I think recent engineering has shown this to be unsustainable. My initial thought was “they don’t plan to update this; no point buying in”.

What if it's feature-complete? People still use versions of photoshop that are 10 years old because those do everything they need.

code rots, Operating systems deprecate libraries that systems depend on. I personally wouldn't' mind paying on a subscription basses to ensure long term viability of a product.

I mean, the core value proposition here is quite good. I've been wanting something like this for awhile. but I'd feel a nervous staking my entire testing flow on a product which has no incentive for ongoing maintenance.

I'll definitely purchase it. I can easily justify it as a business expense and I hope the author of the software finds ways of plugging this product into a larger saas offering so he can continue paying his bills by maintaining this.

Is this Max/MSP for JSON? Pretty cool!

It always fascinates me when I see Max/Live/etc. mentioned on Hacker News. You wouldn't think the overlap between the user demographic would be very large, y'know?

…definite MAX/MSP or PureData vibe!

Very interesting, however what I think you should take a look at is gRPC client. I don't know any good GUI for gRPC protocol.

Looks great, reminds me of Yahoo Pipes. Any chance of a launch discount for HN readers? ;)

This looks awesome. Excited to see how this fits into the space!

Does it support AWS4 signatures?

Yep, it does!

There's no way that I'd be caught dead paying $30 for this when there are tons of platforms online that do this for free. What is the value proposition here?

What do you think of Paw (https://paw.cloud/) which has some overlap with Auxl and charges more and has been in business for over seven years based on a similar value proposition (native app for one platform with free alternatives)?

paw doesn't support graphql as far as I know.

THis product seems pretty useful. I'm building out a graphql api and end up haveing to maintain scripts to test out various workflows. this would be way simpler to drag and drop together a workflow for testing

Paw now supports GraphQL. I’ve been using Insomnia for a while, but need to get back to using my Paw licence because I prefer it so much more.

My comment was about the market viability of native apps when free solutions also exist (not the specific capabilities of either app).

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