Please Open Source Your API Before Shutting It Down

I am making another pass through 821 companies doing interesting things with APIs, and flagging a handful of them as inactive. I will then attempt to contact each of the companies to see if anyone is home. All signs point to a handful of them being dormant projects, with silent blogs, twitter accounts, and other common streams you normally see flowing from API platforms.

If any of them are indeed shutting down, I’m going to urge them to consider open sourcing as much of their API platform as they can, from server side, and client side code to API definitions. At the very least I would like to capture a snapshot of the API, the title, description, image, and a machine readable Swagger spec of the interface, to help record the pattern for future consideration.

I’m sure some of these APIs will have investors they will have to consult before they can do something like open sourcing their API, and I’m sure many of them won’t even respond—I know how difficult it is after you have to put your startup down. Regardless I will at least flag them, make an attempt to contact, and if they don’t respond I’ll queue them up for profiling, and build an archive of abandoned API.

In forty years I’ll be that old crazy guy in the neighborhood who has piles and piles of old APIs laying around his yard. ;-) These damn things will be worth a fortune some day!!

Seriously, if you have an API that you are planning to deprecate, please reach out, I'd be happy to help archive it for the history books.

Photo Credit: Alfredo Astort