The "readme.txt" equivalent for machines.
Be it files in a repo, or an API resource, or a physical machine -- all of them have manuals of usage of some sort:
- if it's a machine, that operation manual comes in form of a book, help file or reference manual,
- If it is an API, the instructions may come in its schema response,
- if it's a repo, it often comes as readme with some Makefile, that implements a kind of callable interface to the repo itself.
It would be great if we could start using these interfaces in a sort of plug-and-play fashion, that we can use things like mouse or keyboard.
"UseMe" standard would come in -- we would choose a general interface description language, and use it to describe systems and subsystems of all sorts, using the machine-readable
UseMe format, that would work like an abstraction layer on top of those various operation manuals, Makefiles, API schemas, and other type of interface descriptions.
Just like we have a
"readme.txt" for humans, we might want to have
"useme.txt", and in fact, the
UseMe could even be integrated as part of readme files, by having a special section with a special tag like
%USEME%, that would allow the developers and engineers inject updated interface specifications into ReadMe itself.
All kind of APIs (GraphQL, REST, SOAP, XML-RPC, etc.) would return not their schema, but the
UseMeresponse could be linked to data sources using a standardized key, like specified in polycontext metasymbol.
UseMeresponse could include use vocabularies to add semantic meaning to resources, like specified in Automated API traversal.
This would allow people and machines to interface with systems directly with flat learning curve.
So many medical test results come with their own reading and viewing software, that while providing extra value for doctors, do not make it easier to analyze the datasets, just because there is that little bit of learning curve to familiarize with an API, field names and meanings. This "Time-To-Use" and "Time-To-Data" and "Time-To-Value" would shrink as a result.