Cloning APIs

Greg Yardley has a great point, when he says:

It’s just good business sense – if you want to kneecap the market leader, you have to reduce switching costs to zero.

It’s true, in an ideal world, people would agree on a standard set of APIs. And there are certainly people that go that way, and they should be lauded for that. But there will be more folks who don’t. And in that case, we should just clone their APIs.

This has happened in the past with the blogger API. It has happened more recently with 23 cloning the Flickr API.

One crucial element is that tool makers anticipate this, and make sure their tools let you point them to another URL. I’m looking at you, FlickrExport! (Via Scripting News)

UPDATE: I heard back from Fraser who liked the idea for FlickrExport, and has posted a ticket


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