Library of Congress’ blog The Signal features a post drawn from a talk by David Brunton (Library of Congress) on the need to simplify APIs. Brunton explains why complicated APIs are challenging for users, and offers his observations from his work on LoC’s Chronicling America project:
But over time it has been my unscientific observation that researchers are, in general, subject to at least three constraints that make simplification of APIs a priority:
- Most researchers are gathering data from multiple sources
- Most researchers don’t have unlimited access to a group of professional developers
- Most researchers already possess a tool of choice for modeling or visualization
The post shows examples of Library of Congress APIs and their use cases.