What's an API?

This is a discussion on What's an API? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Hello all. In layman's terms, what does an API mean really? Thanx....

  1. #1
    Registered User FloatingPoint's Avatar
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    What's an API?

    Hello all.

    In layman's terms, what does an API mean really?

    Thanx.
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  2. #2
    Rad gcn_zelda's Avatar
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    Application Program(ming) Interface...
    Asian and Pacific Islander...

    but I assume you want the first one...

    Well, there's the normal C/C++ window, the DOS command prompt lookin' thingy.

    And then there's the App Program Interface. That's like Windows programs and stuff...

  3. #3
    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
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    Essentially, its a uniform interface for programming with a particular library or for a particular task, etc.

    Windows API is just one example.
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    Rad gcn_zelda's Avatar
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    >>Windows API is just one example

    Good point

  5. #5
    Its not rocket science vasanth's Avatar
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    Re: What's an API?

    Originally posted by FloatingPoint
    Hello all.

    In layman's terms, what does an API mean really?

    Thanx.
    Let me put it in much simpler terms..

    Now consider windows programming or OpenGL programming.. to create a window, minimise the window, maximise etc etc you dont write code to do evrything to redraw screen etc etc.. but you just call appropriate functions...


    example:- createwindow(1,1,100,200); or what ever...


    so you actually dont program to create the window yourself.. you dont have to worry about drawing the window with hard code.. the API does it for you.. so you can say that an API is actually a set of functions which hide the implementation details from you and provide an standard environment...

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