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Re: REST as RPC done right

berners lee rest
Gavin Thomas Nicol wrote:
> You'll excuse me if I find this less than simple..... 

There's no accounting for taste. ;) Of all of the service description
languages I've ever seen, WRDL is the simplest. The normative part of
the spec is about five pages.

> ... you're basically
> writing a vtable in XML....

That's an extremely poor analogy. A vtable is an implementation
technology, not a specification one. It's like comparing reference
counting and monads.

> ... and a poorly typed one as you're
> overloading methods.

No I am not. I use the methods exactly as they are defined in the HTTP
specification, with exactly those semantics.

> > Can you really make the case that GET/PUT/POST/DELETE are more
> > appropriate to hypermedia than, let's say, e-commerce? I've read the
> > HTTP spec and I don't see anything hypermedia specific about it.
> Except, of course, the *name*, which surely shows it's intent... 

I'm waiting for a technological argument.

> ... and
> while the effort in reductionism is fine (hey, I did it with 3 methods
> and I bet I could do it with one...), as I've said, generality does
> not equal general applicability and HTTP != REST.

I know you've said that. When there is a better REST protocol we can all
move to it. Right now, HTTP is it and until I hear a technical argument
against it I'm not going to jettison it because it leaves a bad taste in
your mouth.

> I've heard Mike ask if this is all necessary for building scalable
> systems, and the answer is obviously "no". Many of the larger systems
> on the planet, such as ATM networks, SABRE, or largish EDI
> infrastructures were built before all this, and do quite well.

Those systems are built in a very top-down fashion. Web services was
supposed to *fix* EDI so that it could grow more organically...like the

> > Plus, the W3C folks have always used a definition of hypermedia that
> > meant: "all information, everywhere, hyperlinked."
> In *your* history books anyway.... but I remember a WWW before images
> and before CGI scripts.

"1989, while working at the European Particle Physics Laboratory, I
proposed that a global hypertext space be created in which any
network-accessible information could be refered to by a single
"Universal Document Identifier"." ... "Its universality is essential:
the fact that a hypertext link can point to anything, be it personal,
local or global, be it draft or highly polished."


I really don't understand why people are in such a hurry to prove that
Tim Berners-Lee lacked vision. If he had made a small system that had
failed, people would say he failed because his vision was flawed. He
made an incredibly successful system and people want to act as if it
were accidental or incremental. Everything about the Web architecture
suggests that Tim Berners-Lee always wanted to link together all
information everywhere. The protocols are completely general. The only
hole in the implementation was HTML. XML fixed that. In general I don't
know why you are so negative about any technology you didn't invent.

 Paul Prescod


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