In a meeting yesterday working through our WebAPI coding standards, starting from File -> New project..etc..etc.. and ironing out some of the left-or-right decisions so we can have a consistent coding style, working in a meeting room with an overhead projector and sharing keyboard around with one another.

Then we hit the routing 'rules' in the WebApiConfig, "api/{controller}/{id}"…

DevMgr: "Do we need the 'api' prefix? It seems redundant."
Ralph: "Yes it's needed. Prefixing the controllers with 'api' is industry best practice. Otherwise, how is anyone to know it's a web api"
Prancer: "Yea, it's part of the REST standard."
Me: "I don't think so. That is only part of the Asp.Net routing rule. We can put anything we want or take anything out."
DevMgr: "Yea, it looks silly. All the new services are going to be business process specific."
Ralph: "That's how everyone does it. It's kind of the point of why REST services are called WebApi"
Prancer: "What's the point of doing any of this work if we're not going to follow industry standards."
Me: "I understand if the service is part of larger web site, but we're developing standalone services. Prefixing routes with 'api' is redundant. I mean who are these 'everyone' you're talking about?"
<ralph rolls his eyes>
Ralph: "Lets see …uhhh… Netflix?. They're kinda a big deal."
Me: "Like I said, it's an integral part of their site and the services they provide. That's fine. I'm talking about the 12 other 3rd party services we integrate with. None of them have 'api' on any of their routes."
Prancer: "We're talking about serious web services."
Me: "Last time I checked, UPS is a big and serious service."
Ralph: "Their services are a fracking joke" – he didn't say fracking.
Me: "Our payroll system, our billing system, billion dollar companies, didn't have '/api' prefix anywhere. Heck, even that free faxing service we used for a while was a dead-simple routing path."
<I take the keyboard away from Ralph, remove the 'api' from the route.>
Me: "There. Done. Now, lets talk about error handling.."

Rest of the meeting Ralph and Prancer don't say much of anything, arms crossed…I swear Ralph looked like he was going to cry.
This morning I catch my boss…
Me: "What did you think of the meeting? I thought Ralph was going to take a swing at me when I took the keyboard away from him."
DevMgr: "Oh yes…I almost laughed out loud….blows my freaking mind how worked up people get about crap that doesn't matter. Api..or not…who the frack cares. Just make it consistent"
Me: "Exactly…I didn't care either way, but I enjoyed calling out that nonsense."
DevMgr: "Yes..waaay too much."

If I didn't call them on their BS and the 'standard' allowed to continue, I can bet my paycheck when the subject comes up in a few months (another mgr asks 'isn't this api prefix redundant?') Ralph and Prancer will be the first to say "Yea, its stupid. We fought really hard to remove it from the standard...its not our fault...its <insert scapegoat> fault."

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