Use These 5 Tenants of Helper Libraries to "SPOIL" Developers

As helper libraries make it easier to interface with your API, potentially fostering new users, their development should not go overlooked. Use the acronym "SPOIL" to create a library your users will appreciate.

Succinct: Keep your library concise with a small amount of code. Start small and leave room for growth.

Purposeful: The library should not be an afterthought, but should be considered just as important as the API itself. Design the library with consistent mapping techniques that match frequent use cases.

Open source: Libraries should encourage community participation, and be licensed as open source under MIT or BSD.

Idiomatic: Don't write PHP-like code in a C# environment. To avoid sloppiness, only domain experts that have a full understanding of the specific language should construct the library.

Logical: If you are completely mapping the API, have a predictable method for every call. Use consistent terminologies, and don’t confuse or distract users with incongruencies. 

 

Original Article

SPOIL your Users with Great Helper Libraries

Bill Doerrfeld I am a consultant that specializes in API economy research & content creation for developer-centric programs. I study Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and related tech and develop content [eBooks, blogs, whitepapers, graphic design] paired with high-impact publishing strategies. I live and work in Seattle, and spend most of my time as Editor in Chief for Nordic APIs, a blog and knowledge center for API providers. For a time I was a Directory Manager & Associate Editor at ProgrammableWeb, and still add new APIs to the directory every now and then. Drop me a line at bill@doerrfeld.io. Let's connect on Twitter at @DoerrfeldBill, or follow me on LinkedIn.

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