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Re: URI Templates - optional variables?

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2007 10:06:49 -0700
Message-Id: <CFBBECE9-6CD3-4FF9-A15E-A96A077FF2CC@gbiv.com>
Cc: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>, URI <uri@w3.org>, Joe Gregorio <joe@bitworking.org>
To: Stefan Eissing <stefan.eissing@greenbytes.de>

On Oct 16, 2007, at 5:46 AM, Stefan Eissing wrote:
> I can accept that. However I see as consequence that extension to  
> the "self-descriptive" solution would be counter-productive. That  
> means the predefined set should be quite complete.

Yes, or at least extensible in a single way (not many).

> Ceterum censeo: in my view the templates would benefit from an  
> easier readable syntax.

Easy to read by whom?  I went through the readable bits with HTTP
and it turned out to be a big mistake.  Nobody reads HTTP in real
practice, yet the overhead of parsing HTTP messages is huge.

I think of URI templates as a generalization of server-provided info
on how to construct the URI for a resource space, in the same way
that server-side image maps defined a constructor for map points.
I think the main use case is going to be within the Link (or was
it Link-Template?) header fields, which means they will be protocol
bits and reducing the length of those bits will be important.

I want templates to be easy for a computer to read and easy for
a computer to generate from that reading a fully-descriptive
page of information in the user's favorite language.  For example,
define a web service that inputs a template and outputs the
readable description according to the Accept-Language received.

     http://example.com/explain_template?{URItemplate}

I bet Joe could write one of those in an hour -- it would save
him the time of regenerating all those email examples. ;-)

....Roy
Received on Tuesday, 16 October 2007 17:07:03 GMT

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