Issue: 14.2 (March/April 2016)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Author Bio: Marc taught himself programming in high school when he bought his first computer but had no money for software. He's had fun learning ever since.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 23,306
Starting Page Number: 72
Article Number: 14207
14207project.zip Updated: 2016-03-01 13:42:45
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Excerpt of article text...
As you get started in programming, you'll often hear the term API—Application Programming Interface—bandied about. You might gloss over this technical term, not really understanding what it means.
In truth, we're all using APIs all the time. Xojo itself is, in a way, a really big API, and it, in turn, is communicating with the APIs of the target OS (desktop, Web, iOS, etc.). Even more common, you're creating APIs whenever you develop your own software.
Now you're probably a little confused, wondering what I'm talking about. You're thinking:
What? I've never created an API!
Before I explain, let's explore what an API is, exactly. Let's start simple.
An API is just a set of rules of how to talk to another program or part of a program.These rules have to be explicit or the communication won't work (or will generate errors or unpredictable results, which is the same thing).
That may sound foreign or odd, but we do this all the time. Any method or function you call is, basically, an API. The "rules" of communication with that method or function are the parameters the routine takes and the format of the data it passes back!
Let's look at a simple math function in Xojo. In the Language Reference, we see that
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