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Re: REST, Conversations and Reliability

From: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Jul 2002 13:06:21 -0400
To: "David W. Levine" <dwl@watson.ibm.com>
Cc: "Champion, Mike" <Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com>, www-ws-arch@w3.org
Message-ID: <20020719130621.F1586@www.markbaker.ca>

This is an extremely well reasoned response, and I wholeheartedly
agree.  Thank you, David.

And not to diminish its value *at all*, but I'd like to respond to a
handful of points.

> Simply treating OMA and related concepts as one large 
> blob that one has to
> swallow hole, or reject hole isn't constructive. Pointing out specific 
> parts of the OMA world that
> look problematic is a far more useful model. Finding the synthesis points, 
> where changes to the
> OMA model, or changes in how one approaches REST to better solve some of 
> these problems
> would strike me as far more likely to lead to genuine progress.

[...]

> In that sense, all of this becomes 
> a remote procedure invocation,
> at some level. The devil is in the details. The challenge is not to say 
> "this is blanket bad" but rather
> to say "this specific behavior is brittle in the following ways." or "This 
> could be better if we allowed X to
> occur as well as Y."

[...]

> As one final example, it was pointed out that returning WSDL as a response 
> to an HTTP get on a
> SOAP URI is undesirable because it doesn't directly map to REST. The 
> underlying question is
> in what specific ways is this undesirable, and how can the desired effect 
> be achieved. Simply saying it
> doesn't conform to REST doesn't allow for a deeper discussion of why the 
> current best practice is to
> return the WSDL, and why that is undesirable. If we want to get a nice 
> synthesis between approaches,
> we have to look at those underlying issues, and address them.

I wanted to say, since those seem addressed at me, that in all of those
cases, I have done what you have suggested.  I have phrased my views on
these issues in *many* forms using examples, different perspectives,
comparisons with other technologies ... basically, trying everything and
anything I can think of to shake loose some of restrictive
preconceptions many Web services proponents seem to have about
distributed computing.

Specifically, in response to your first point;

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-ws-arch/2002Jul/0291 (second
paragraph)

To the second;

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-ws-arch/2002May/0386 (last
two full paragraphs)

To the third, I did say that GET should return the state of the 
resource, not the interface.  This can be achieved by giving resources -
those things with identity and state in your app - URIs, permitting
their state to be returned on a GET.  Sorry, I assumed that people knew
that.  8-(

MB
-- 
Mark Baker, CTO, Idokorro Mobile (formerly Planetfred)
Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.               distobj@acm.org
http://www.markbaker.ca        http://www.idokorro.com
Received on Friday, 19 July 2002 12:54:36 GMT

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