Re: Esoteric terminological query -- APIs

Subject: Re: Esoteric terminological query -- APIs
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2000 11:04:46 -0700 (PDT)

> The COM API is not now object oriented, but might become so.
> Its description is in an IDL (Interface Definition Language)
> form, showing which parameters are input, which are output,
> which are both. Its behavior now is much like that described for
> C, but is likely to change to be more like that discussed for
> the Java API.
> Has any of you ever had to address this sort of a problem, where
> there are multiple APIs that provide entree to a system/product
> from a family of different protocols/mechanisms/language-milieus?

In reality what you have are three APIs each with a different implementation.
The COM implementation is merely a more robust implementation that is not,
necessarily dependent on a specific language architecture.

I think you're splitting hairs, Guy. You're right, COM does not classify as a
language, but you're more likely to confuse readers if you are constantly
trying to acknowledge this difference. I would refer to each as an
"implementation method" or an "access method" or some unique term. I don't
think using the term "calling architecture" would be bad. Treat COM as an equal
with C and Java.

This is also the problem with single-sourcing. You lose nuance which in
documents like this is absolutely critical. In the API and tech docs I've
written, I purposedly rejected any attempts to single-source because it reduces
my ability as a writer to handle unique and complex concepts.

Andrew Plato

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