API Commons Blog

What Exactly Is API Commons?

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As I travel around talking to folks about APIs, I spend as much time as I can educating folks about API Commons, and I’m constantly reminded how little people, who have even heard, and read about API Commons, really understand what it is. With this in mind, I will be regularly publishing examples of what API Commons is, to help onboard everyone to mine and Steve's (@njyx) vision of API Commons. API Commons is a machine readable pointer to the license of your API. As I talk with folks, and watch videos like this one at APICon in UK, I......read more.



Support For Only Two Creative Commons Licenses In The API Commons

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When we first conceived API Commons, we were a little fuzzy about which of Creative Commons licenses API providers should apply to their API definitions. As long as a provider took a stance on API copyright around your API definitions, applied a Creative Commons license, we considered an API “in the commons”. As time has evolved, and we've had time to reflect on the decision that the Federal Circuit Court handed down in the Oracle v Google case, we've adjusted our vision of what Creative Commons licenses should  be applied to an API, and still be considered as part of......read more.



Fixing The Machine Readability in API Commons

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When I first published 11 simple API definitions, I had developed using schema.org, into the API Commons, I made a mistake when I referenced the Swagger specifications for each of the APIs. I linked to the machine readable Swagger spec, but not the raw JSON stored on Github, errorneously I linked directly to the Github page. I want the machine readable API datastore, at API Commons, which is used to drive the API listing page, to be completely machine readable, referencing all APIs, their machine readable API Commons manifest, as well as machine readable API definition. As the smart folks......read more.



API Commons Added To The API Commons

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Even with the risk of possible creating some sort of API wormhole, I just added the API Commons API to the API Commons. The API for adding and searching for APIs that are in the commons, now has an API definition that is publicly declared as part of the commons, with a CC-BY license. It just makes sense to have the API for the commons in the commons, so anyone can establish their own commons, complete with common API. 3Scale and API Evangelist are taking a particular stance on the API copyright discussion, and if our approach doesn’t match your......read more.



Nothing Has Changed For API Commons In Light Of Oracle v Google Decision

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While we definitely are concerned by the response from the federal court in the Oracle v Google case, but for us at API Commons nothing has changed—it just turns up the heat. The precedent for applying copyright to web APIs is far from settled, this will be a long legal road that will play out over years, during which the mission of API Commons remains the same—encourage as many API providers as possible to publish API definitions into the commons, accompanied with a liberal creative commons license. The API sector and all derived areas (which is huge), would be better......read more.



Nothing Has Change For API Commons In Light Of Oracle v Google Decision

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Nothing Has Change For API Commons In Light Of Oracle v Google Decision While we definitely are concerned by the response from the federal court in the Oracle v Google case, but for us at API Commons nothing has changed—it just turns up the heat. The precedent for applying copyright to web APIs is far from settled, this will be a long legal road that will play out over years, during which the mission of API Commons remains the same—encourage as many API providers as possible to publish API definitions into the commons, accompanied with a liberal creative commons license.......read more.



Green Button (Energy) API Added To API Commons

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One of the most meaningful API projects I work on with the US government is the Green Button API, which provides access to energy data for US consumers across the country. First, what is the Green Button API? The Green Button builds on top of the Green Button data initiative which is: ...an industry-led effort that responds to a White House call-to-action: provide electricity customers with easy access to their energy usage data in a consumer-friendly and computer-friendly format via a "Green Button" on electric utilities' website. Which Todd Park, Assistant to the President and U.S. Chief Technology Officer states:......read more.



Adding Evercam.io To The API Commons

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The Internet of things (Iot), and security camera API platform evercam.io has submitted the API definition for their camera API to the API Commons. I’ve been impressed with the amount of leadership that is coming out of this new startup in a potentially very political, and inevitable aspect of the API economy—cameras. Marco Herbst (@marcoherbst) of evercam.io approached me during #APIStrat in Amsterdam and expressed interest in submitting their Swagger API definition into the commons, and this last weekend we created the API Commons manifest and published to the commons. When I spoke with Marco several months ago about API......read more.



Added API For Searching And Adding API Definitions To API Commons

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I think the title of this blog post has the most occurrence of API, I’ve ever used. We have had requests to provide an API for the API commons, so now you can add API definitions using a Github manifest, the API Commons Manifest generator, or via the API Commons API. I added the ability to search API definitions, as well as POST an API through the new interface. I deployed a simple registration form for the API using 3Scale API infrastructure, and will add more account management features as the API matures—right now can just signup, login, get your......read more.



When To Submit API Definition To The API Commons? Earlier or Later?

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I had a great conversation with a company developing some very interesting API designs, and upon talking with them about submitting their API definitions to the commons I got a common question: When should we submit our definitions? Now or later? They will be changing often. Of course each API development team will be different, but my recommendation is submit early on. The sooner the better. Even if your API definition changes often, it is better to showcase the design, soliciting feedback from the community, and establishing a precedent within your industry now. You can see this in action with......read more.



Adding Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) API Definition

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We are adding the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) API swagger definition to the API Commons today. The FAFSA API is a working project to show the Department of Education what is possible when you turn a form into an API, with a goal of stimulating development of custom PDF implementations, as well as web and mobile application tools that use the API. The FAFSA API is not an official federal government project, but reflects a public / private sector partnership, showing was is done with the private sector and government work together to design APIs and to......read more.



Its Between Copyright And Fair Use In Oracle Vs Google Api Case

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I'm just getting time to read through the news coming out of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the next phase of the Oracle v. Google case, which kicked off December 4th in California courts. A panel of three judges presided over the Oracle v. Google Android/Java copyright appeal hearing, and after reading several accounts of the hearing, all three judges seem to all agree that the Java API should protected under copyright, but whether Google's use of portions of the Java API is fair use, is still unclear--potentially overturning Judge William Alsup earlier ruling.......read more.



It's Between Copyright And Fair Use In Oracle vs Google API Case

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It's Between Copyright And Fair Use In Oracle vs Google API Case I'm just getting time to read through the news coming out of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the next phase of the Oracle v. Google case, which kicked off December 4th in California courts. A panel of three judges presided over the Oracle v. Google Android/Java copyright appeal hearing, and after reading several accounts of the hearing, all three judges seem to all agree that the Java API should protected under copyright, but whether Google's use of portions of the Java API......read more.



Adding The OpenEd API To The API Commons

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We have added the OpenEd API to the API Commons. OpenEd provides open educational resources like courses, videos and games for teachers to use in their classes. Using the API, developers can read and write resources to the platform, which currently houses 250K openly licensed educational resources. In addition to making all of the content openly licensed, the OpenEd.io site is also open sourced on Github. Making the OpenEd API definition a perfect candidate for the API commons. The OpenEd team designed their API using Apiary.io, defining it using API Blueprint, a web API language that allows for the description......read more.



Adding The CourtListener API To The Commons

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Last week the Free Law Project launched their CourtListener API, which currently aggregates 2,204,339 court opinions, from 350 jurisdictions in the United States. This week, we are honored to have their API definition added to the API Commons, setting a precedent for what is one possible design for a court opinion API interface, as well as a supporting data model.   Next up, is for the community to step up and translate this spec into other formats like RAML or API Blueprint. With the CourtListener data being licensed in the public domain, there is also great opportunity for developers to......read more.



API Commons Is More Than Just The Definition, Specification or Schema

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API Commons is about providing a simple and transparent mechanism for the copyright free sharing and collaborative design of API specifications, interfaces and data models. When learning about API Commons it can be easy to focus on the obvious technical deliverables of the project, API definitions, data models, schemas and specifications. While API Commons is about providing a place to house these very technical design specifications, the largest benefit of API commons will be the process , community and culture that will form around it. Bringing API design across government and industries out into the open, focusing on sharing, collaboration,......read more.



After A Very Successful Launch Of API Commons, What is Next?

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We chose to launch API Commons at Defrag because we felt it was precisely the audience that would understand what we are trying to do, and we were right! Attendees of Defrag represent the leading edge of the tech space and provided us with the critical feedback we were looking for, while also helping us spread the word out about the project to all of the people who truly mattered. The news coverage of the API Commons launch was everything we hoped for: Techcrunch: New API Commons Platform Allows Developers To Share APIs Under Creative Commons Licenses ProgrammableWeb: API Commons......read more.