There was a great post by Doc Searls today called Toward a Matrix of APIs, where he recalls a talk by Cal Henderson of Flickr at the 2006 O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, where Henderson explained the principles behind the Flickr API.
One of those principles was user access to data. The API should be one that allowed the user to haul all of her data out of the system, even if it was to federate that data into a competing system. That’s because Flickr believed that user data is the user’s first, and not just the company’s. Another principle was keeping the API stable, so as not to disrupt users and other services that depended on the API.
|Dave Winer, Doc Searls, Flickr|
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