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nesta 01-11-2007 06:25 AM

what is API ?
hi folks,

i want to know what is the meaning of the API? cause i found it mentioned so many times.
is it related to packages or to operating systems?

also i want to know what is the meaning of the mac?
thanks in advance.

Simon Bridge 01-11-2007 06:33 AM


definition: API
... API = Application Programming Interface

definition: mac

MAC = Media Access Control
mac or Mac = Macintosh Computer

Do use google.

jbuckley2004 01-11-2007 08:12 AM

Now this is interesting - just the other day I came across a tutorial that insisted that API stood for Applications Programmer Interface, which is just a little different. Given the definition in the Wikipedia, it makes sense to think of it as the interface between the application and the programmer.

I wish I could find the reference (tried - came up empty).

Simon Bridge 01-11-2007 07:48 PM

Nah - the interface between a programmer and an application is called an IDE (in the sence of "Integrated Design Environment" rather than "Integrated Drive Electronics".) Then there's JAVA programming.

The interface between a user and the application is called a UI.

The API is well thought of as the interface between that application and the rest of the computer... but it is more complicated than just that. You get a feel for them when you use them.

xhi 01-12-2007 07:34 PM

read up on encapsulation as well, that may shed a little light on the meaning of API

nesta 01-15-2007 12:48 AM

where can i read more about
API,and other things u have mentioned like
IDE,UI and also ABI?

thanks in advance.

Simon Bridge 01-15-2007 07:05 PM

Google is your freind.

me210 01-15-2007 08:01 PM

An API is a set of 1 or more programmable functions() that an operating system--or also often an application inside the OS, aka a "program"--exposes to a developer. That's it.

The developer is ordinarily given thousands of API functions() to work with by an OS. Less so, ordinarily, by an individual application. It makes sense because applications are basically processess that make use of OS functions() in order to accomplish something.

A spreadsheet, for example, is just a process that makes a lot of function calls to an operating system in order to display lines and compute characters. It's essentially many calls to the OS API. The collection of API calls just happens to be referred to as a word processor, or an e-mail client, or a web browser, or a paint program, etc.

(Not to be confused with SDK--which is most often nothing more than API documentation (a list of functions and their meanings, usage and sometimes examples).)

An (I)ntegrated (D)evelopment (E)nvironment is an application-building program that incorporates not only a program editor, but also some compiler machinery--even as little as a p-code generator would qualify as such; the IDE would commonly also contain point-and-click keyword-definition help, as well as a library of object definitions, window panes for debug info, etc. The idea is they are all part of one common application-building package, so that you don't have to use a text editor for one step and then have to open up a command line to compile in another, and then use some other program to debug, and on... .

Examples of IDEs include "SharpDevelop," the MS Office "VBE" (VB Editor), "Visual Studio," the "JDE," etc.

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