Can dealing with a difficult API provider be like trying to solve the puzzles in a classic text adventure game? In an amusing blog post entitled The Quest for the UPS API over at Ruby Discoveries and Idioms, the trials and tribulations of dealing with the United Parcel Service API has been parodied as an old-school adventure game. And as any developer who has had to navigate some of the more onerous API sign-up processes or unclear and overly complex documentation can attest, this may seem familiar. As the introduction notes:
I’m inspired by the hoop-jumping UPS (yes, that UPS) requires for developers to begin using their web service APIs. There are NDAs involved, so this is not about the APIs themselves; it is about getting to the point where one can start working with the APIs. It is presented in the format of a text adventure. Pedantic corrections to format are welcome, since it’s been a long time since I’ve played one.
And the game itself? Here’s a snippet that gives you a sense of how it goes:
Welcome to Colossal API Quest! Find the documentation, get authorized to use the development integration environment, and meet the needs of your client to achieve fame and fortune!
And this is only the first part of the adventure. API providers might take notes here on what not to do.