Re: Webhook grammar question

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Jeff Lindsay

Mar 24, 2015, 2:44:46 PM3/24/15
to Erwin, David,
Hi David,

Good question! This actually bothered me for a long time. I used "webhooks" to refer to the idea more than anything else. Sometimes I call it the webhook "pattern" (as in architectural design patterns). 

I think your separation mostly makes sense. However, my take would be:

- webhook pattern, general idea
- webhook trigger, code/setup that defines how callbacks occur
- webhook request, the callback request / event (not specifically just the response!)
- webhook handler, the thing on the other end that receives the request

And variations of those are probably ok too. As long as there is a strong semantic relation. Luckily those are what's used in the wild most often. For example, reasonable alternatives for request I've seen are "post" or "event". Alternatives for handler might be "receiver" or in some cases "listener". 

I've not heard webhook "rule" as often. I think it gets at something slightly different than what I think of as the "trigger" or "caller", but the configuration of that trigger. More often than not, webhooks are provided one to one with certain events without much rule based configuration of whether or not they are sent. It's either on or off. 

It's easy to get into event-driven specific lexicon ("event listener", "event emitter") or pubsub specific lexicon ("publisher", "subscriber"), but over the years I've started to avoid overloading them too much unless the particular use of webhooks is for specifically for events or pubsub. 


On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 1:53 PM, Erwin, David <> wrote:
Hi Jeff, 

I found your name in a wikipedia entry about webhooks that credited you with coining the term. I’m currently working on an interface for managing webhooks and I would love to get your opinion on the use of the word.

Here’s my conundrum – the word ‘webhook’ seems to be used commonly as a noun to refer to three separate things. 
  1. The general idea of sending callbacks based on events.
  2. The code that triggers a callback. (if blog post then send kinda thing)
  3. The callback itself. (response header and body with a time stamp etc.)
I’m a little late to the game to make up names for stuff, but I could refer more precisely to these things in an interface if I could use 'webhook’ as an adjective that describes these nouns separately. For example:
  1. Webhook method – the general idea. I wouldn’t actually need this term in the interface. 
  2. Webhook rule – this would be the code or setup that defines how callbacks occur.
  3. Webhook event – a callback. 
Again, I would love to get your opinion on this. 


David Erwin

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