8

We have 87 questions tagged :

https://softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/api

Checking a portion of them reveals that these questions are asking for either:

  • a to embed in their application
  • to call from their app
  • a client app that is compatible with a particular existing API

Are you happy with this tag? Could we improve it? Is it redundant?

  • Be happy Nicolas! You're awesome! :-) – RockPaperLizard May 23 '16 at 22:48
  • We also have the tag web-apis. – unor May 23 '16 at 23:59
  • Well, can we count this a consense? IMHO yes, so you could go ahead :) – Izzy May 31 '16 at 21:43
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I think this tag is redundant and should be removed. We should encourage askers to use more meaningful tags:

  • a library to embed in their application: Tag as
  • a web service to call from their app: Tag as
  • a client app that is compatible with a particular existing API: Tag as the product providing that API, for instance or .

Message suggestion by Thomas:

"You're trying to tag as [api]. You're probably better with [library] or [web-services]. If it's a product specific API, tag it with the product name."

  • I agree with you. I'm a little concerned about people understanding the difference between web-app and web-services, and removing api might cause some erroneous tagging. Regardless, I think this is minimal and the likely benefits will outweigh any possible costs. – RockPaperLizard May 23 '16 at 22:51
  • Thinking a bit aloud here: Given that api is a popular tag, and cannot be "synonymed" (I think I just invented a word) with multiple other tags (right?), it might be reappear quickly as people try to use it. Maybe you can add to your answer how to deal with this. BTW, I'm not a big fan of tags that say "don't use this tag"... LOL. – RockPaperLizard May 23 '16 at 22:53
  • I have to agree with rockpaperlizard: people start using the term api more and more for any kind of interface or library. I doubt we can 'enforce' proper use. If we undertake any tag cleanup (and maybe even if we don't) the usage of these terms and tags needs a good meta post. – Jan Doggen May 24 '16 at 7:36
  • Personally, when looking for an API I wouldn't have thought of googling for "web services". Also, it seems there are more answers in api than in web-services. Removing api in favor of more specialized tags such as web-apis could work, but I have also noticed that web-apis has no tag wiki definition and appears to be used for two different purposes: people looking for web API's they can call and people looking for code to implement their own web API. – user2428118 May 25 '16 at 10:44
  • As for web-services, it seems that many (most?) questions are not using the tag to mean machine-to-machine communication. – user2428118 May 25 '16 at 10:52
  • 2
    @RockPaperLizard: we don't need a "don't use this" description. We need a "You're trying to tag as [api]. You're probably better with [library] or [web-services]. If it's a product specific API, tag it with the product name." description – Thomas Weller May 30 '16 at 8:03

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