Beefy Boxes and Bandwidth Generously Provided by pair Networks
There's more than one way to do things

Comment on

( #3333=superdoc: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

There are already some really excellent comments here. I agree very much with flyingmoose that an ideal would be that if you only knew the method names, you would still understand the API/class. Personally, I think this is something every API designer should strive for, but few ever actually reach. I also agree with dragonchild that an obsessive drive for simplicity and domain experience are two characteristic likely to be found in all good API desingers. (Although on occasion, a fresh perspective is good, not that this is mutually exclusive with domain experience, but sometimes good abstraction requires a distancing of ones self from the details of the domain.)

To these points I would like to add consistency. To me, this is an equally important element of a good API and one I strive to instill in every one I design. Consistent handling in method/function/variable naming conventions as well as in argument names and argument ordering (something I think is key to perl since it lacks named parameters). An obsessive drive to organize (a place for everything and everything in its place) is also something I think most good API/library designers have, a disorganized API can kill other positive aspects very quickly.

If you are instested in further study of API design, I would like to recommend this book. Reusable Software - The Base Object-Oriented Compontent Libraries by Bertrand Meyer, it is heavy on Eiffel (whose base libraries it is talking about), but really really insightful and smart. I believe that Eiffel actually begun not as a language, but as an attempt to "understand the fundemental structures and paradigms of software development". This book is basically about that process. It is one of the only books I have found that actually discusses the principles of good library construction in detail, including class names, proper use of inheritance, ideal class size, etc. etc. I actually keep it on my "within-arms-reach" shelf, next to the O'Reilly Perl catalog and my favorite Addison Wesley titles (Refactoring, Design Patterns, Pragmatic Programmers, etc).


In reply to Re: Ingy's "Swiss Army Light Sabre" - or, "how do you design your APIs?" by stvn
in thread Ingy's "Swiss Army Light Sabre" - or, "how do you design your APIs?" by kal

Use:  <p> text here (a paragraph) </p>
and:  <code> code here </code>
to format your post; it's "PerlMonks-approved HTML":

  • Posts are HTML formatted. Put <p> </p> tags around your paragraphs. Put <code> </code> tags around your code and data!
  • Titles consisting of a single word are discouraged, and in most cases are disallowed outright.
  • Read Where should I post X? if you're not absolutely sure you're posting in the right place.
  • Please read these before you post! —
  • Posts may use any of the Perl Monks Approved HTML tags:
    a, abbr, b, big, blockquote, br, caption, center, col, colgroup, dd, del, div, dl, dt, em, font, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, hr, i, ins, li, ol, p, pre, readmore, small, span, spoiler, strike, strong, sub, sup, table, tbody, td, tfoot, th, thead, tr, tt, u, ul, wbr
  • You may need to use entities for some characters, as follows. (Exception: Within code tags, you can put the characters literally.)
            For:     Use:
    & &amp;
    < &lt;
    > &gt;
    [ &#91;
    ] &#93;
  • Link using PerlMonks shortcuts! What shortcuts can I use for linking?
  • See Writeup Formatting Tips and other pages linked from there for more info.
  • Log In?

    What's my password?
    Create A New User
    and all is quiet...

    How do I use this? | Other CB clients
    Other Users?
    Others exploiting the Monastery: (6)
    As of 2018-06-23 14:40 GMT
    Find Nodes?
      Voting Booth?
      Should cpanminus be part of the standard Perl release?

      Results (125 votes). Check out past polls.