Thursday, December 20, 2007

On API Integration

This quote from Danny Ayers in the social-network-portability group is spot on and goes a long way to help explain why our approach to document-driven visualization is the best way to integrate:

Architecturally, there are at least two big advantages in taking this
approach [of import/export to common portable formats].
When we have an environment which contains N different formats/
APIs which can express the social information, either we need

N^2 different converters to enable interop *or* we can map to a common
model, and just need N different parsers/serialisers - still
non-trivial, but a lot easier. The second advantage, which is the
reason an RDF-backed is appropriate, is having the flexibility to
compatibly include whatever (other) information you like in the common
model, beyond the limitations of the typical individual formats/APIs.
Check Tim Berners-Lee's FOAF [6].

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