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Author Archives: Benjamin Young

Benjamin Young is a User Experience Engineer and Information Architect. He also organizes @RESTFest & @OpenUpstate.

Graph Database Goodness with LevelGraph

Graph databases are one in a plethora of NoSQL databases now found in the wild. They’re unique among their sibling database types by having a unique internal data structure. Graph databases make the relationships within the data a first-class citizen on the same level as the data itself. Consequently, they are most popular in social networking, big data, and science ...

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Building Web Extensions Because You Can

Browser extensions aren’t a new thing. Firefox had them since before it was named Firefox. Each browser after that created yet another unique way of extending the capabilities of that particular browser. Recently, however, the browsers have been talking more often, and consequently things are getting better. If you’re a web developer, things have gotten far more cohesive in recent ...

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Documenting APIs when Preferences Matter

I sat down to write a “Document APIs with Open API and JSON Schema” article. That’s still quite possible, of course, and there’s lots of great resources to help you do just that. However, my head’s been ironing out the wrinkles in the Web Annotation Protocol for the last few weeks, and I really wanted to see how the current ...

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Testing HTTP APIs with SuperTest

You know tests are Good For You®. You probably even write unit tests and measure the code coverage of your business logic. Congrats! However, at that layer, your only writing tests for yourself, your teammates, or others consuming your code-level interfaces. But what about your web-level interface? Your HTTP API is the interface you give others who depend on your ...

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Hypermedia APIs with Apache CouchDB

RESTful web services are a thing I love to discuss, build, and use. However, most of them stop short at sending JSON (or XML) back and forth over the wire. I read the documentation. I write some code with URLs in it and tie my JavaScript, Python, or PHP right into the vendor’s API as it’s currently structured. Any changes ...

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JSON-LD: Building Meaningful Data APIs

Everybody loves JSON! However, JSON by itself is pretty meaningless. Well. It has meaning, but only to the original creator of that format. They can share that meaning via documentation, conversation, or usage, but those often exist in places far removed from the JSON document you’re looking at. What if the meaning itself was encoded directly into the document? What ...

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