GitHub officially announced Octokit today, a new lineup of GitHub-maintained client libraries for the GitHub API.
Octokit comes in two flavors. It offers a kit for developing Ruby apps and another for Objective-C. The Ruby version is what the site describes as a simple wrapper for the GitHub API. The Objective-C version uses the Cocoa and Cocoa Touch framework “for interacting with the GitHub API, built using AFNetworking, Mantle and ReactiveCocoa.”
Both are collaborative efforts, built in large part by the GitHub community.
I am not a developer so I will never profess to know the details of something like Octokit. But what I do find in these projects is people who use their skill sets to make things better. APIs are awesome but developers sure do talk a lot about their fragility and the intricacies that a developer has when building an app. Companies like Runscope are addressing the issue. Tasktop has launched the Software Lifecycle Integration (SLI) project, a service that I wrote about in March that “acts as a universal linked data message bus that allows for real-time synchronization between different tools so people can immediately discuss problems with the code as they surface.”
But it is the individuals who make the difference. Wynn Netherland created and over the years helped maintain the Octokit wrapper for the GitHub API. In an interview on the Treehug blog, Netherland said he has also helped maintain the Twitter Ruby Gem and the LinkedIn Gem for the LinkedIn API.
Octokit reflects years of work by the GitHub community and is a clear example of how bottom-up development has made it easier to work with APIs and integrate to create and maintain any variety of apps.