API Design for C++ by Martin Reddy

By Martin Reddy

Publish yr note: First released in 1996

API layout for C++ presents a accomplished dialogue of software Programming Interface (API) improvement, from preliminary layout via implementation, checking out, documentation, free up, versioning, upkeep, and deprecation. The booklet specializes in the problems of designing APIs for a unmarried language (C++), which continues to be the most regularly occurring programming languages for giant software program tasks.

The booklet additionally covers really good API issues, equivalent to developing scripting and plug-in APIs, with emphasis on API layout. A dialogue on trying out suggestions concentrates on computerized API checking out concepts instead of trying to contain end-user software checking out thoughts corresponding to GUI trying out, process checking out, or guide checking out.

The ebook may be invaluable to new programmers who comprehend the basics of C++ and who are looking to increase their layout talents, in addition to senior engineers and software program architects looking to achieve new services to enrich their latest abilities. 3 particular teams of readers are precise: practising software program engineers and designers, technical managers, and scholars and educators.
• the single e-book that teaches the ideas of C++ API improvement, together with layout, versioning, documentation, trying out, scripting, and extensibility.
• huge code examples illustrate each one idea, with absolutely useful examples and dealing resource code for experimentation to be had online.
• Covers quite a few API kinds and styles with a spotlight on useful and effective designs for large-scale long term initiatives.

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However, a good rule of thumb is that whenever you have a file format or a client/server protocol, you should also have an associated API to manage changes to that specification. 7 About this book 17 TIP Whenever you create a file format or client/server protocol, you should also create an API for it. This allows details of the specification, and any future changes to it, to be centralized and hidden. For example, if you specify a file format for your application’s data, you should also write an API to allow reading and writing files in that format.

21 22 CHAPTER 2 Qualities non-programmer and that person should be able to understand the concepts of the interface and how it is meant to work. Furthermore, it should be apparent to the non-technical reader that the group of operations provided by the API makes sense and belongs together as a unit. Each class should have a central purpose, which should be reflected in the name of the class and its methods. In fact, it’s good practice to have another person review your API early on to make sure that it presents a logical interface to fresh eyes.

This page intentionally left blank CHAPTER Qualities 2 This chapter aims to answer the following question: What are the basic qualities of a good API? Most developers would agree that a good API should be elegantly designed but still highly usable. It should be a joy to use but also fade into the background (Henning, 2009). These are fine qualitative statements, but what are the specific design aspects that enable these? Obviously every API is different; however, there are certain qualities that promote high-quality API design and should be adhered to whenever possible, as well as many that make for poor designs that should be avoided.

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