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Using Hypermedia APIs to Drive Interactive Mobile Applications

Benjamin Greenberg (Comcast Interactive Media)
Grand Ballroom ABCD
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Slides:   1-PDF 

At Comcast, the backbone of our just-launched cross-platform X2 TV experience is a hypermedia API supporting both XHTML and HAL as media types. It’s given us several expected benefits: self-documentation, loose coupling, and discoverability. At the same time, it also uncovered some limitations of hypermedia. Hypermedia is designed so that the API works very similarly to a traditional web site—load a resource, follow a link, and then load the next resource. Modern, native mobile apps, on the other hand, try very hard to NOT present a page-oriented, wait and load experience. Users expect their apps to be responsive, fast, and not beholden to a page-like paradigm.

In this presentation, Benjamin will discuss the design of our hypermedia API and demonstrate some of the strategies we’ve come up with to address these concerns. We’ll use different examples from our API to illustrate how we promoted parallel requests, improved cacheability, and minimized response sizes, all while staying true to the link- and form-driven spirit of hypermedia.

Photo of Benjamin Greenberg

Benjamin Greenberg

Comcast Interactive Media

Ben has been writing software since he was in short pants. After obtaining his degree in Computer Engineering and beginning to wear long pants, he became an experienced full-stack web developer working with a variety of open source technologies. He has since become focused on backend development and especially APIs.

He currently works at Comcast where he develops APIs that drive video streaming across many platforms for millions of customers. He resides in Philadelphia with his fiancée and too many cats.