Carnegie Mellon University
file.pdf (349.2 kB)

Mapping the Space of API Design Decisions

Download (349.2 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2007-01-01, 00:00 authored by Jeffrey Stylos, Brad Myers
When creating new application programming interfaces (APIs), designers must make many decisions. These decisions affect the quality of the resulting APIs in terms of performance (such as speed and memory usage), power (expressiveness, extensibility and evolvability) and usability (learnability, productivity and error prevention). Experienced API designers have written recommendations on how to design APIs, offering their opinions on various API design decisions. Additionally, empirical research has begun to measure the usability tradeoffs of specific design decisions. While previous work has offered specific suggestions, there has not been a clear description of the design space of all possible API design decisions, or the quality attributes that these decisions affect. This paper puts existing API design recommendations into context by mapping out the space of API design decisions and API quality attributes.


Publisher Statement

"©2007 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE." "This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder



Usage metrics


    Ref. manager