Putting The Open In API With The API Commons

Steve Willmott(@njyx) from API infrastructure provider 3Scale and API Evangelist launched a new partner project yesterday at Defrag, that we are calling API Commons. The mission with API commons is to provide a simple and transparent mechanism for the copyright free sharing and collaborative design of API specifications, interfaces and data models.

For a space that is about open access and interoperability the API industry has been very closed about their API designs, and after helping the EFF urge the courts to block copyright claims in the Oracle v. Google API fight, Steve and I thought it would be a good idea to introduce an API commons that would help put the "open" into API designs and data models, and back into the API space in gernal.

API Commons is build entirely on Github and is meant to act as a common index of API definitions and data models that anyone can add by generating what we are calling an API Commons Manifest that points to your API definition(s). Using the existing layers of Github, anyone can fork, favorite or follow the best API design patterns and eventually help establish some clear best practices across any government or business sector.

Everything you need to get going is on the site at apicommons.org. You can join the discussion on the Google Group or by following us on Twitter. We are in early stages, but will be dedicating a great deal of time over the holidays to get more API definitions in the commons.

3Scale and I strongly believe that API Commons is what the API industry needs to help deal with some of the clutter in the number of API designs, incentivize the development of open and common tooling around the best API designs and bring reuse, collaboration and copyright concerns out into the open.

Also check out some of the great news coverage of API Commons over the last 24 hours: