We try to stay positive at ProgrammableWeb. We've talked a lot about the keys to a great API, but not so much about what some of the lesser APIs do. And, with a directory of over 6,000 APIs, you'd better believe we've seen some worst practices.
- Poor error handling
- REST APIs that ignore HTTP rules
- Exposing your raw underlying data model
- Security complexity
- Unexpected and undocumented releases
- Poor developer experience
- Expect an MVC framework "gives" you a great API
- Assume if you build it they will come
- Inadequate support
- Poor documentation
Many of these issues came up in the developer survey that said Facebook causes the most developer pain.
For other tips on the positive side, see what makes a great API.
Photo by Richard Riley