{"Hypermedia APIs"}

Are You A Hypermedia Pragmatist?

I have been spending a lot more time in 2014 learning, discussing, and telling stories about hypermedia. Early this year I identified that hypermedia was moving beyond just academic discussion, and entering the mainstream consciousness of the API community. I do not consider myself a hypermedia expert, and had a lot more to learn, and by moving hypermedia further into my regular research, over time this education would come.

At the end of 2014, my deep technical knowledge of hypermedia, and the nuances between each of the formats isn’t there yet—I just do not have the production experience with any of them to know what I’m doing. I can provide an overview of the technology, the various formats, and the people behind each movement, as well as point to some real world hypermedia implementations, but when it comes to getting down to the details I’m just not there yet.

One of my readers, from a leading tech company recently emailed me asking for a “hypermedia pragmatist”—here is an excerpt:

We have a lot of opinions in our organization about how we should implement hypermedia APIs. I’d like someone to discuss pros/cons of different approaches in our monthly API discussion group but don’t want someone who only promotes one view (i.e., JSON-LD, HAL, etc.) or is extreme in their hypermedia views.

Do you know of anyone whom you would consider a hypermedia pragmatist? Someone who understands the competing specs but is pragmatic about how to implement.

This describes what I’ve set out to be for the API space in general, being a pragmatists in the tech, business, and politics of APIs, and I guess I can "almost" call myself a hypermedia pragmatists, except I just don’t have the implementation experience. I’m sharing this story, because I’m getting this question at multiple companies, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and government agencies I'm in talks with.

Eventually I will get there, and obtain the experience in implementing each of the leading hypermedia formats, but until then I need some help. Do you consider yourself knowledgeable across the leading formats? Are you a pragmatists when it comes to understanding what is possible when it comes to API design, and the implementation? Are you nice, professional, and informative when it comes to API education, strategy, and execution?

If you are a hypermedia pragmatist and open to consulting, and telling stories from your engagement, please let me know.