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REST APIs and the Return of the Console App

Project: gertty

Text-based interfaces are great for working with, well, text! We talk
to each other in text-based IRC clients. We run compilers and the
programs we write from text-based terminals. We write code in
text-based editors. Some of us even read our email there too. But
increasingly, developer tools are showing up on the web.

A recent trend for web applications to have fully separate REST-based
"backend" systems that are in turn used by "frontend" Javascript
applications has not only freed Javascript developers to write more
expressive applications, but has the unexpected side benefit of
freeing users to create their own preferred interface to tools they
commonly use.

In this presentation, the author will introduce Gertty, a new
console-based interface for the (web-based) Gerrit code review system
and use it to demonstrate the advantages of applications developed
with fully-featured REST interfaces. We will talk about the
challenges of developing a "secondary" interface, the unique
environment of a console app, and the surprising benefits of not being
tied to the web.

James Blair

James is a founding member of the OpenStack Project Infrastructure
team. He has been instrumental in creating OpenStack's development
process and now works for Hewlett-Packard continuing to develop the
infrastructure needed for a growing project. He has been active in
free software for quite some time, and has previously worked for UC
Berkeley and the Free Software Foundation.