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Cathedrals in the Cloud: Musings on APIs for the Web

Mike Amundsen (Layer 7 Technologies)
Cloud
F150
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Slides:   1-PDF 

In 1999, the first edition of Eric S. Raymond’s book “The Cathedral and the Bazaar” was published by O’Reilly Media. Now, fifteen years later, most open source coding projects are organized similar to Raymond’s “Bazaar” model.

With the rise of cloud-based services and Web APIs, it may be time to re-visit Raymond’s 19 “lessons” to see how they can be applied (and/or modified) to fit a world where much of the software we use is no longer installed locally and is often kept out of reach from most developers and users.

It seems each day we learn about bugs or security shortcomings in cloud-based software. Do we need more “eyes on the code”? Are cloud-based services treating their users like “co-developers”? Are API consumers encouraged to use cloud-based APIs in ways that were “never expected”?

Are we creating Cathedrals in the cloud?

Photo of Mike Amundsen

Mike Amundsen

Layer 7 Technologies

An internationally known author and lecturer, Mike Amundsen travels throughout the world consulting and speaking on a wide range of topics including distributed network architecture, Web application development, and other subjects.

In his role of API architect at Layer 7, Amundsen heads up the API Architecture and Design Practice in North America. He is responsible for working with companies to provide insight on how best to capitalize on the myriad opportunities APIs present to both consumers and the enterprise.

Amundsen has authored numerous books and papers on programming over the last 15 years. His most recent book is a collaboration with Leonard Richardson titled “RESTful Web APIs”. His 2011 book, “Building Hypermedia APIs with HTML5 and Node”, is an oft-cited reference on building adaptable distributed systems.

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