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I am creating a commercial API for the first time for responsive webpages/web applications (mobile devices).

I am new and, sadly, working alone as well as new to Javascript (long complicated story).

I was just wondering if someone from the industry could offer their professional opinion on the following format of a "get" call:

var getSample = function(params) {
//Returns Object
return $.ajax({ 
    url: URL + 'downloadQuadrat.php',
    type: 'GET',
    data: { 'projectID':, 'quadratID': params.qid },
    dataType: dataType

Function call:

var printList = function(lid,options,get) {
var list = $("ul#"+lid);
var promise = get(options);

    function(response) {
        var items = response;

        $.each(items, function(item,details) {
            var ul = $('<ul/>');
            ul.attr('id', lid+'_'+details.ID);
            var li = $('<li/>')

        $.each(details,function(key,value) {
                var li = $('<li/>')
                .text(key+': '+value)

Any input or guidance will be hugely appreciated.

share|improve this question
Is getSample supposed to be getting or setting? It seems to do both. – David Dec 12 '12 at 1:22
getSample is supposed to retrieve a sample from the database, save it as an object, and add it to array. When you call the function, it returns the JSON object, so essentially it's just a "get". A "setSample" will add/update to the database – Griff McGriff Dec 12 '12 at 1:30
So, getSample is not a part of the API? Is it an example of an implementation? Because you have problems with the function returning a JSON array that doesn’t exist (yet). – David Dec 12 '12 at 1:31
I've updated the code, with the new "promise" structure. Is it correct? – Griff McGriff Dec 12 '12 at 2:17
Have you tested either of the above code blocks? Do they work as you intended? If not, this seems like more of a question for Stack Overflow ("how do I do this") rather than Code Review ("is this the best way to do this"). I can't figure out what the second code block should do (your get function is undefined and .promise() with no params is used for monitoring animations. With your $.ajax() example, it seems to me you need to at least look at using the .done() chained method for a start. – lucideer Dec 12 '12 at 9:37
up vote 3 down vote accepted

From what I understand, you are building an abstraction layer and making your own functions for your API. Here's what you need:

  1. A Namespace

    Sounds very C++-ish but yes, you do need namespaces in JS. This prevents you from polluting the global namespace and have a central go-to object for your functions. For example, jQuery uses jQuery and the $ namespaces for a central collection of their functions. Notice $ in $.each(), $ is actually the namespace (a function actually).

  2. Module that code

    Another way to prevent code pollution and collision is to wrap your code in a scope, usually called a "closure". This is just a geeky way of calling a function scope that persists because of something returned that still has reference to that scope. Normally, it's called a module (as in a modular piece of code). A simple way of building a module is to use an "immediate function" or a function that immediately executes. A more detailed explanation how it works is explained here

  3. Extensibility

    With modular, namespaced code, usually developers forget to open their modules to extensibility. Because module pattern is like putting a cage around their code, developers forget to actually provide a way to make their module extendable.

    You should provide a way (like provide a function) that allows (limited) access to your module and allow it to attach custom functions from the outside. An example is how jQuery allows plugins to be made.

Here's a short way to make a module, and have your custom functions


    namespace.get = function(params){

}(window.myNamespace = window.myNamespace || {}));

share|improve this answer
thank you for that. I am actually from a C background, it's the web side of things (and JS etiquette) I struggle with. I will certainly refer to your comment when structuring my API – Griff McGriff Dec 16 '12 at 20:42

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