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7 Comments

  1. Jeff,
    I finally found the time to watch this presentation, which is much better in that you explain webhooks in more detail. However, though I am only just half way through, I am understanding your frustration better. They really don’t get it, do they? Perhaps some examples, when they come, of really emergent processing using webhooks will finally get their attention.
    Keep trying, mate.

  2. Current programming works as though we had to write a specific, complete and tested conversation, if not a complete working grammar, each time we want to say something to each other. Webhooks assumes that we alreadt have a language that we use to speak. Two or more sites join together and contribute to the conversation.

  3. Thanks Robin. After talking to them afterward, I’m pretty sure they got it. I’ve also noticed even people that seem to get it don’t fully get it until they’ve experienced using them… just how awesome it is. For example, PBwiki (now PBworks) liked them enough to implement them, but only after they had them and played with them did they realize “oh hey, these ARE pretty awesome.”

  4. Thanks for posting the video. But I get a little frustrated when people make up new terms to describe something that’s already been described. Webhooks is an implementation of the Observer design pattern (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer_pattern).Why don’t you use common, well known terms to describe it? That’s what’s great about Design Patterns. If I tell someone that I’m implementing the Observer pattern, they’ll immediately understand what I’m doing.

    • You’re right, it’s the Observer pattern. All these things, callbacks, hooking, events … are roughly the same thing. I should make a point to use Observer pattern in my explanations. The reason it’s a different name is because it’s a particular instance of it. An API is something we know and talk about everywhere, but we call them web APIs. Web Hooks are hooks … on the web.

      There are reasons why I’ve settled on the name webhooks. It’s a lot smoother than HTTP callbacks or HTTP observers/listeners. You can call them postbacks, or whatever …

      I don’t even care what you call it. But I need to call it SOMETHING to get people to be doing it. However “webhooks” has already taken off. My fault. Sorry.

      • Agreed. It is a lot smoother. I see your reasoning now. It’s definitely more marketable than the technical terminology. Now I’m wondering why are YOU pushing Webhook implementations so hard?

        Personally, I see the possibilities of a Webhook rich internet like decentralized “social networking”, private “web” conversations, sharing photos, links, web pages, etc. Even commenting on blog posts. I can see if you were on your site at the same time as I’m writing this comment, you could see my comment on the page your own as a “Growl” notification as soon as I save it. It seems like it would make these types of communications more reliable. Are you just enthusiastic about the possibilities or what?

  5. Here’s a link to Apple’s implementation of the Observer pattern. This is my favorite. It’s a Notification Center. The name says it all. It’s a center for notifications.
    http://developer.apple.com/mac/library/documentation/Cocoa/Conceptual/Notifications/Articles/NotificationCenters.html


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