API Design

This is really just a miscellaneous collection of thoughts and links right now, not a full fledged article on API design.

  1. Casey Muratori gave a good talk at Game|Tech on Designing and Evaluating Reusable Components, which was really a talk on API design.

    Here's the executive summary:

    • Granularity - A or BC
      Flexibility vs. simplicity
    • Redundancy - A or B
      Convenience vs. orthgonality
    • Coupling - A implies B
      Less is always better
    • Retention - A equals B
      Synchronization vs. automation
    • Flow Control - A invokes B
      More game control is always better
  2. A great insight on API and language design comes from Larry Wall, the designer of Perl, but I first heard about it from Jon Blow in this article. You want your language or API to be diagonal, not orthogonal as conventional programming wisdom states. If you want to go from one place to another, you want to travel the shortest distance, not have to take the Manhattan path. It's a great point (and is Casey's Redundancy point above).

This page was last edited on 22 January 2007, at 02:30.