I participated in an API Craft meetup this last Thursday, hosted by 3Scale in San Francisco. The gathering included Uri Sarid(@usarid) representing RAML, Jakub Nesetril(@jakubnesetril) on behalf of API Blueprint, Tony Tam(@fehguy) with his Swagger, and myself, discussing the fast growing world of API design.
While there are other formats for defining APIs, API Blueprint, RAML and Swagger represent the leading API definition formats, tools, and services in the space right now. I assumed we'd be talking about each of the API definition formats, but the conversation was more about how we got here, and the motivations behind generating API descriptions.
There are numerous reasons why API providers would want to generate API designs, ranging from the ability to mock interfaces, to generating interactive documentation that helps onboard API consumers. Having this conversation is important, as not all API providers are generating API definitions, and many of those who do, do not understand all the benefits of have machine readable API definitions.
Thank you to Emmanuel Paraskakis(@manp) who organized the meet up, 3Scale for hosting and sponsoring the conversation, the beer (which included Stone IPA w00t!), and making it possible so the leaders in the space can discuss the increasingly relevant topic of API design, and share the insight with the San Francisco API audience.