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The Design of Everyday APIs

Liffey B
09:45 on 13 July 2022
30 minutes


What makes a good API for a library? Or more importantly, what makes it bad? This talk will discuss the principles of what goes into user-centered design, and how best to apply those principles when writing a Python library for fellow developers.

TalkPython Libraries


What makes a good API for a library? Or more importantly, what makes it bad?

Implementing an API is an art. It’s the connection between the user and the library itself. How can we optimize that connection to make the experience more pleasing? What makes a user reach for one library over another? What goes into an ergonomic API?

This talk will first discuss what makes an API good: documentation, simplicity, consistency, completeness, and flexibility. We will apply those elements by looking at examples in the wild of good and poorly designed APIs. And we’ll discuss what to leverage and how to avoid pitfalls of bad design within Python (when [not] to use metaclasses, subclassing versus composition, decorators, etc).

The speaker

Lynn Root

Lynn Root is a Staff Engineer at Spotify and resident FOSS evangelist. She is a seasoned speaker on building and maintaining distributed systems, and maintains Spotify’s audio processing framework. Lynn is a global leader of diversity in the Python community, the Chair of the PyLadies global council, and the former Vice Chair of the Python Software Foundation Board of Directors.

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