Re: What is API?

Subject: Re: What is API?
From: Michael Uhl <uhl -at- VISLAB -dot- EPA -dot- GOV>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 1995 14:03:44 -0400

API definition, taken from

Application Program Interface

Programming: (API, or "application programming interface")

The interface (calling conventions) by which an application program
accesses operating system and other services. An API is defined at
level and provides a level of abstraction between the application and
the kernel (or other privileged utilities) to ensure the portability of the

An API can also provide an interface between a high level language and
lower level utilities and services which were written without consideration
for the calling conventions supported by compiled languages. In this case,
the API's main task may be the translation of parameter lists from one format
to another and the interpretation of call-by-value and call-by-reference
arguments in one or both directions.

(15 Feb 1995)

Michael Andrew Uhl Internet: uhl -at- vislab -dot- epa -dot- gov
Lead Technical Writer Compuserve: 72624,2155
SVC/NESC Phone: (919) 541-4283
Martin Marietta Technical Services, Inc. Fax: (919) 541-0056
Primary Support Contractor for the EPA ftp site:
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Scientific Visualization Center (SVC),
National Environmental Supercomputing Center (NESC)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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