One year ago, I wrote on Twitter that “my next API will be semantic XHTML”. Since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about Hypermedia APIs with HTML (and have done some prototyping). My dream API would use XHTML with RDFa, link to Atom feeds and offer an alternative JSON-LD representation.
Here’s a few articles on that topic that made me think:
Combining HTML Hypermedia APIs and Adaptive Web Design by Gustaf Nilsson Kotte is also a great read.
Then watch the full talk (53 minutes) by Jon Moore on Building Hypermedia APIs with HTML.
If you’ve got some time left, I highly recommend the RESTful Web Services book by Leonard Richardson and Sam Ruby. It already said this, back in 2007: “It might seem a little odd to use XHTML […] as a representation format for a web service. I chose it […] because HTML solves many general markup problems and you’re probably already familiar with it. […] Though it’s human-readable and easy to render attractively, nothing prevents well-formed HTML from being processed automatically like XML.” (By the way, the follow-up RESTful Web APIs is going to be published next month.)
I haven’t read the book Building Hypermedia APIs with HTML5 and Node by Mike Amundsen yet, but it sounds interesting.
Please let me know if I missed out on something important…
Update (2017-12-01): See my follow-up post Publish your data, don’t build APIs.