It's getting too cold to do anything productive outside, and I've got a week-long holiday break coming up soon, so I think it's time for a little personal challenge. I've been kind of fascinated by APIs for awhile, the way the good ones manage to hide unknown complexity behind a wall of simplicity. In an ideal world anyway.

Before I started my current job, I wasn't completely sure what an API was. If you're in the same boat, consider how your car's dashboard hides the complexity of hundreds of sensors and electronics under the hood. You can GET the current speed or outside temperature, and SET the cruise control speed or radio station. It's an interface to a more complex system, so you don't have to sweat the details.

In a similar fashion, an API lets you GET data out of a system and POST data into it. I've been involved with writing an API, have used a number of them, and I've even written about them. But over the next 15 days I'll try to write about 15 different APIs - how to get started using them and hopefully some demos - and I'll make it available on GitHub as well as here. I think I'll start with the Twitter API.


As a side note, I've tried this before. My 52 weeks of Pi challenge made it to 9 weeks. That's kinda embarrassing to type. I do intend to pick that one up again soon, especially since my daughter's been asking about my Raspberry Pi. Guess what she's getting for Christmas?

We've done a little programming together, but haven't delved too deeply yet. Recently she wanted to do a small guessing game where, if you guessed the number, you'd be rewarded by a penguin. Or with a penguin. I don't remember exactly... she really likes penguins.

I'm hoping working on the Pi together will be enjoyable for both of us. If you're interested, look for Canakit or Vilros on Amazon. I got a Vilros one when I bought my original Pi 2, and I was happy with all the components. They tend to be a little pricey though, so this time I'm getting a Pi 3 by itself, along with two starter kits, which costs a little less and has a little more. There's a little redundancy between the kits, but a lot of goodies too. If you're interested in checking out what I'm getting, here they are: