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The API-Application Semantic Gap


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Lightning Talk @ RestFest 2015 on Rest APIs and Application Semantics

Published in: Internet
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The API-Application Semantic Gap

  1. 1. The  API-­‐Applica.on   Seman.cs  Gap   Steven  Willmo,           3scale  Inc   @3scale  -­‐  h,p://  
  2. 2. On  Demand  API  Infrastructure:     h,p://  h,p://   h,p://     @3scale  me:  @njyx  on  twi,er   Powering  650  APIs   Billions  API  Calls  /  Month  
  3. 3. REST  and  SemanOcs   •  More  Shared   SemanOcs   •  More  ConvenOon   v’s  ConfiguraOon   •  More  Flexible   Clients   Key:  Explicit,  Shared,  Re-­‐usable  SemanOcs   (Image:  MarOn  Fowler  /  Richardson  Model)  
  4. 4.  But  What  Type  of  SemanOcs   ApplicaOon  SemanOcs  =  Chocolate   REST-­‐1-­‐2-­‐3   HTTP   TCP/IP   Domain   Objects   AcOons   ObligaOons   Rights…  
  5. 5. Implicit  v’s  Explicit  ApplicaOon   SemanOcs   Server   Client   API  DefiniOon   Data  Models  /  Ontology   AcOon  DefiniOons   (Mental)  State  
  6. 6. Today’s  REST  APIs   Profile   Message:     Object   Encoding   HTTP  Post   Vocabulary   Human     Readable   Docs   •  Implicit  and  Explicit   SemanOcs   •  Some  is  Machine   Readable   •  Message  Bodies  are   limited   •  HTTP  Verbs  touch   ApplicaOon  SemanOcs  
  7. 7. So…  
  8. 8. “Agent”   There  are  Models:  e.g.  FIPA  Agent   CommunicaOon  Model   (Speech Act: Inform :sender :receiver :content “(equal A B)” :language :ontology)   (Protocol:  Info-­‐Exchange…   (Context:      -­‐  Ontologies    -­‐  Protocols    -­‐  Logical  Frameworks    -­‐  Rights,  Roles,  IdenOOes…   h,p://   A  lot  more  is   possible:   •  Ontologies   •  PerformaOves   •  Protocols   •  Content  Logics:   DL,  FOL,  Temporal,   Constraint   •  Mental  Models   •  P2P  v’s  Client/ Server    
  9. 9. Full  Stack  ApplicaOon  SemanOcs   Level   Example   Context   Ontology,   IdenOty,     Protocol   Request   Protocol   Actude   Request,   Agree,  Cancel,   Reject,  Inform,   …   AcOon   “(Donald  eats   apple)”   Objects   “Apple”,   “Person”   A  lot  more  is  possible:   •  Ontologies   •  PerformaOves   •  Protocols   •  Content  Logics:  DL,   FOL,  Temporal,   Constraint  Logic   •  Mental  Models   •  P2P  v’s  Client/Server    
  10. 10. Progress  From  Mike’s  Talk…   •  Pass  Messages,  Not  Objects   –  J  …  although  is  REST  pure  message  passing?   •  Share  Vocabularies,  Not  Models   –  Share  (External)  Vocabularies,  Not  (internal)  Models   •  Use  Profiles   –  J  …  add  more  to  them   •  (from  James’)  AcOvity  Streams  Ontology   –  J  …  helps  define  context   •  =>  on  the  right  path  
  11. 11. Two  Paths  to  Progress   •  More  Formats,  More  Reasoning     Shared  Explicit  SemanOcs  FTW!   Experimental  Work…   Reasoning     Clients   •  More  Share  formats    
  12. 12. References   •  References:   – h,p://   – h,p://   – h,p://     •  Images:   – Dancing  with  Happiness  –  Yarn   – Nestle  –  KitKat  
  13. 13.   @njyx,  @3scale     We  make  awesome  API  management  tools:   h,p://