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Re: REST and the Web

From: Paul Prescod <paul@prescod.net>
Date: Sat, 30 Mar 2002 00:09:20 -0800
Message-ID: <3CA572B0.55AA28E2@prescod.net>
To: Gavin Thomas Nicol <gtn@rbii.com>
CC: www-tag@w3.org
Gavin Thomas Nicol wrote:
> 
> On Wednesday 27 March 2002 06:47 pm, Paul Prescod wrote:
> > hyperlinking. Hyperlinking is a critical piece of any non-trivial
> > web service because it is the Web's way of managing state.
> 
> While it is easy to prove that any RPC can be embedded in a URI, or
> that any continuation can be referenced via a URI, one has to ask
> whether this is a good thing.... simply because most URI's, especially
> in the face of arbitrary intermediaries, are globally scoped.
>
> It's unpleasant, but true that POST is often used for information
> hiding. This is in leiu of any other mechanism to do so.

I don't know what you mean. POST versus GET are only "information
hiding" if you happen to have software that treats GETs as transparent
and POSTs as opaque. Browsers tend to do that to give you histories. I
don't see any relevance to a web services context. If you have an
intermediary between you and your business partner then they can log
POSTs as easily as GETs.
 
>...
> I think the fact that SOAP exists shows a failing in the ability to
> easily scope the set of available resources to a given user
> "session".... or at least that common practise (as established by CGI
> and promoted ever since) doesn't provide a conceptual framework for
> mapping such things into URIs well.

But everybody does this on the web all of the time! When I go to eBay I
don't see your auctions, I see mine!

>...
> SOAP in HTTP is an extension of the desire for a general, and
> extensible means to make calls to server-side processing. Both GET and
> POST have enough problems that something else is desired, and as
> someone else noted, people have, for a long time, been rolling their
> own thing.
> 
> You can't ignore either the user community *or* the vendor community.
> Both have already voted!

Five years ago they said that stylesheets would never be implemented on
the Web because the user and vendor community had already voted. I am
willing to take the long view and wait for people to figure out the
limitations of the seemingly easy strategies.

 Paul Prescod
Received on Saturday, 30 March 2002 03:13:07 GMT

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