Writing better API documentation: a few lessons from enterprise integration
Jun 29, 2022
Over many years working on API integrations, I’ve seen a whole lot of ways that the experience could be less frustrating. This isn’t a definitive list but a personal collection of a few recurring problems with documentation I’ve seen in different REST APIs that could be avoided.
Explain what a field does
Consider API documentation like this:
String tags - “This field contains tags for the post.”
This is not helpful.
Possible vulnerability in Sainsbury's and Nectar website
Mar 16, 2022
In February, I discovered a potential vulnerability in the Sainsbury’s and Nectar website. Sainsbury’s is one of the UK’s main supermarkets, and Nectar is the loyalty card programme they own in partnership with a bunch of other retail brands like Argos, Esso and British Airways.
The vulnerability is not that exciting and I have no way to know whether it is possible to misuse it without breaking the Computer Misuse Act 1990, which I obviously don’t want to do.
iTerm2 URL matching is pretty neat
Mar 20, 2021
For many years, other developers told me about iTerm2 and I ignored them. I really shouldn’t have. The stock macOS Terminal was fine, I thought. What a mistake.
There’s lots to love about iTerm2, including the ability to script it in Python. But a really amazing quick win is the support for Triggers. Triggers allow you to set a regular expression that gets acted on every time they appear in the terminal.
Too sarcastic for the Twitter joke police: an adventure in automated moderation
Feb 18, 2021
In which computers built by Silicon Valley-funded companies fail to get British humour.
Never trust a Time Machine made by a computer company
Dec 31, 2020
In which Apple makes me very, very weary.
Using AST parsing for deriving IAM rules
May 19, 2020
With enough metaprogramming, security can be fun.
That's not what the law says: the coronavirus regulations
Apr 08, 2020
If you want a rule of law, maybe read the law?
Hart contracts, not smart contracts
Feb 06, 2020
Why a philosophical argument shows the folly of Smart Contracts
The NHS Data Commandments and the memory hole
Feb 04, 2020
Back in 2018, the British government published a document on the World Wide Web. This happens fairly often. In fact, they have a whole publishing platform for this. I started writing a post critiquing this document, as I felt it was a poorly considered idea. Before I got around to publishing it, the document disappeared from the Internet. Life went on. I was busy, and there are always many more blog post drafts that don’t ever get written or published.
Essential reading on the MIT Media Lab
Sep 08, 2019
A peek inside the embattled Media Lab.