Dick Wall On Why API Design Matters




Dick Wall on Why API Design Matters

24 June 2019


Added 01-Jan-1970


18:30-19:00 Sign-in and get settled

19:00-19:45 Dick's presentation

19:45-20:00 Q&A


Why API Design Matters, and Why Yours Sucks! (and mine sucks too!)

Scala offers incredible power and flexibility, providing features from many different languages and philosophies. This leads to a very diverse ecosystem and a wide range of possibilities for solving the same problems in very different ways.

As a developer trying to get results in the Scala world, the diversity in approaches of different libraries can be totally overwhelming, and the impedance mismatch between different libraries (and different developer preferences) often leads to confusion and inefficiency in development.

Among all of this, is what Dick feels to be the "lost art" of API design in the Scala community. Good APIs are small, focused and thoughtfully designed, isolating the developer using them from the underlying implementation whatever it is and however clever it might be. A good API should not require the user to care about the aspect they are using it for, after all, if they were really interested in that aspect, the chances are they would take control and write something themselves. Developers tend to get caught up in their enthusiasm and great ideas within their field of expertise and not consider that most people simply don't care about that and instead just want to get to their own area of interest.

In this talk Dick will examine advice from a number of sources, but primarily Josh Bloch, who has spent a great deal of time thinking about, designing and implementing APIs, APIs that we all still use to some degree even in Scala (e.g. the Java core libraries, Guava and many others). Josh writes APIs that everyone uses and most people don't notice. Dick will explore some of his advice, and some of his own and and you will learn from both about sound API design and its importance to the Scala ecosystem.