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API reference: documentation style

John Valentine
by John Valentine 5 years ago


Our conventions for formatting our API documentation can have the following elements:

  • Title: what an API call does.
  • Path: the HTTP URL's location, including ids.
  • Description: a bit more detail.
  • Parameters: a table of parameters, their value spec and effects.
  • Request example.
  • Response example.
  • Response Items: a table of possible items found in the response.
  • Relations: how data is shared between objects and methods.


Code or data files are boxes and labelled with their type, e.g.

HTTP request
HTTP response (JSON)
    "tag_types": [
            "id": "1",
            "name": "Industry Types"
            "id": "2",
            "name": "Client"

Aside from standard code highlighting, we style as follows:

  • keywords or reserved words
    also used to identify nouns in the API path.
  • literal strings
    identify values for variables, or literally-entered text.
  • variables
    identify a variable or parameter name.
  • arguments
    identify a place where an argument should be inserted.
  • comments
  • annotations (comments set apart from the code)

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