- restricted interface between components
APIs usually specify only the input side of software components.
Full APIs must include, both, input and output descriptions.
DLLs - .dll, .so, .dylib files - are one form of output API (created using indirection which is resolved by the linker).
DLLs are not formalized to the point of having first-class output APIs.
Normalized Interfaces, APIs
Input APIs and output APIs should look the same.
Currently we specify output APIs using a mish-mosh of syntax, e.g. exceptions, synchronous return values, etc.
A Component is described by
- a name
- an input interface
- an output interface.
[N.B. Currently, we specify APIs with too much detail, a result of flatness instead of layering. Libraries are hard to use because of the fact that too much detail is exposed at the top levels].