How to Create an API for Your Application, Part 1

Despite being the lingua franca of the internet, APIs remain wildly inconsistent in both their structure and documentation for developers. While the promise of APIs has largely been fulfilled, their actual usage for developers day-to-day often remains frustrating. Since an API in and of itself is just the mechanism for a service to offer access (both internally and externally), there are no specific rules around its implementation. In order to provide some much-needed consistency, multiple options for API guidelines have

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The Black Triangle

Not sure where (or when for that matter) I stumbled on this article, but after cleaning up tons of tabs in Firefox I thought I’d share this: We came to refer to certain types of accomplishments as “black triangles.” These are important accomplishments that take a lot of effort to achieve, but upon completion you don’t have much to show for it – only that more work can now proceed. It takes someone who really knows the guts of what

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TextMate Preview Shortcut Trick

I recently learned a new shortcut within the TextMate editor (used daily for all my text editing as well as programming) that has made me much more productive. You can preview any formatted document (so far I’ve tested HTML and Markdown) by simply holding down control-option-command-P Here’s an example from within TextMate while working on a Markdown document. The shortcut turns this into this Incredibly useful, especially when working on documentation in Markdown. Do you have any other hidden TextMate

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The Rise Of JSON

An interesting perspective on why JSON has become so popular compared to XML from MIX Online: The Rise Of JSON: There is the simple fact that JSON is smaller as a payload than XML. And no doubt JSON is less verbose than XML.  But there’s much more to it than just size.  The crux has to do with programming.  JSON is natively tied to JavaScript. As an object representation of data, it is so easy to work with inside JavaScript. Its

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Small Business Backup System Using Amazon S3

My friend Thomas Myer has a great article up on the Amazon Web Services Developer Connection on Building a Small Business Backup System Using Amazon S3. When you run a small business, you’re usually running too fast and hard to think about data backups. Then something terrible happensâ??a hardware failure, an employee or contractor gets sloppy and kills a month’s worth of workâ??and you realize that you better slow down and figure out a few things. If you’re like me,

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Apple's Safari to Windows is a brilliant move

I watched Paul Kedrosky on CNBC yesterday shrug off Apple’s release of Safari for Windows and was quite surprised by his reaction. This is a really big deal for a couple reasons. Yes, as Kedrosky says, the browser war is an old topic and not as sexy as the iPhone story or new Leopard features. But Apple is incredibly shrewd in this move to introduce its Safari web browser to the rest of the computing public. While most developers were

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