How to Design a Good API and Why it Matters

March 20, 2006

Joshua Bloch has a good presentation outline called How to Design a Good API and Why it Matters. Joshua is a Principal Software Engineer for Google, before that an architect in Sun's Core Java Platform Group (he designed several of the standard java API's). Josh also wrote Effective Java.

Here are a few points from the presentation that I found interesting...

  • If you program, you are an API designer
  • If you keep the spec short, it?s easy to modify
  • API Should Do One Thing and Do it Well
  • API Should Be As Small As Possible But No Smaller
  • Names Matter - API is a Little Language
  • Fail Fast - Report Errors as Soon as Possible After They Occur

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