Here is a full copy of the etherpad before it disappears:
API roadmap conversation, Sept 11 2013 at WMF office
* Attendees: Yuri, Max, Yuvi, Erik B, Brad, Sumana, Subbu, Gabriel, RobLa, Roan, Federico, Tim
== REASONS / JUSTIFICATIONS ==
Current proposal: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Requests_for_comment/API_roadmap
* Change output format - structured warnings / errors, localization
** Kill XML specifically :( (it's 25% of non-OpenSearch traffic but it's a mess and needs to die)
* Split traffic between server pools depending on action
** Change URL to e.g. api.php/query?...
*** Why make the URL longer?
== Discussion ==
* Module refactoring - https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Requests_for_comment/API_roadmap#Modules_refactoring
Drawbacks to versioning modules, versus individual flags:
* Making promises we can't keep: we say action=foo~3 isn't going to change, but then some security issue or core change comes along and we have to break it anyway.
* Code rot: "foo~3" implies an entirely separate module, the code for which will easily rot.
** Yes, the version *could* be treated as a feature flag within the module. Then you have this vaguely-named flag that doesn't indicate what it does besides "version".
* Say we make "foo~3", then "foo~4". If a client wants something introduced in ~4, they have to accept ~3 as well.
** Encouraging people to upgrade to the latest version is often a benefit
*** But forcing them to upgrade many features for one feature?
URL change won't help with caching yet -> REST content API
* query param order random, cannot be purged
* don't want to wrap HTML in JSON
Wikia's requirements: work with SDKs their ecology likes
** What kind of REST? it means something different to everyone!
** Cacheable as much as possible -> no query params, deterministic URL so purgeable
** Representations? State Transformations?
*** Content types, not everything should be wrapped in JSON
** Discoverability - API results include URL's to possible state transofmrations, related resources, etc.
Yuri: How will we proceed in changing the API?
* Sumana advises: consult existing API usability research, just as we consult users & MW developers
How do we change defaults?
Star versus underscore is so JS can do "foo._" instead of "foo['*']"
> Avoid underscores in js identifiers per conventions, maybe use "content" instead of "*" / "_" (also more descriptive)
Idealist vs Pragmatism - Do you want something beautiful? Or something that continues to work?
Why can't it do both?
* The argument is to find specific use cases for each individual change, an overall beautiful API is not definable as individual little pieces but as an overarching design methodology
* Wikia makes their RFC public, ASAP :) - Federico
** Separate RfC re RESTful API?
** Prototype Parsoid REST API - Gabriel
* Find motivating use case re flags versus versions - Yuri
* Restructure current RFC - Brad/Yuri ?
* Sumana to post this etherpad onwiki, email mediawiki-api & wikitech-l