W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-ws-arch@w3.org > January 2003

Re: REST; good for humans and machines

From: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>
Date: Sun, 5 Jan 2003 14:31:42 -0500
To: "Newcomer, Eric" <Eric.Newcomer@iona.com>
Cc: www-ws-arch@w3.org
Message-ID: <20030105143142.T12258@www.markbaker.ca>

On Sun, Jan 05, 2003 at 10:02:20AM -0500, Newcomer, Eric wrote:
> I think that if the REST folks had designed Web services, they would be different, but then again, HTTP-NG was different, and so was HTTP-EF, and neither gained widespread acceptance.  Nor did ICE, XML-RPC, and about a dozen other XML protocol proposals.
> So yes, certainly I think everyone can agree that theoretically you could design and implement pretty much equivalent functionality using HTTP without SOAP and WSDL, but the larger, and very much more difficult problem is how do you ensure market acceptance?

I thought I had been clear on my position here.  "REST folks" would not
have designed Web services, because we don't need them.  We can use REST
to solve the same problems that people are solving with Web services.

> I know that many of you remember very well about three years ago when the adoption of SOAP was very much up in the air.  And many of you no doubt remember the COM vs CORBA wars of the mid-90s.  If the industry had been able to agree at that time upon a single RPC standard, CORBA would have been much more widely adopted and therefore more widely successful, perhaps even becoming the standard for "Web services" as many felt it should.   (And by the way, CORBA folks think anyone who'd use HTTP for any kind of distributed computing is nuts,

I used to be a "CORBA folk".  I did *heavy* CORBA work from 94 to 98.
I later learned that HTTP was a better way to build those systems
(large scale telecom network services management + integrated

> and I'm sure we could drum up an equally endless religous argument about why IIOP is superior to HTTP and should have been adopted, as was once proposed, as an Internet standard. Then we wouldn't have all these issues with HTTP...) 

Again, that's a common mistake of CORBA folk, and Web services folk; you
can't compare IIOP and HTTP.  IIOP is layer 6, HTTP is layer 7.  They
are entirely different beasts.  It's like saying "Ethernet is better
than IP", or "IP is better than TCP"; it doesn't grok.

> One other thing, although I know this is probably asking for too much -- it would be nice if we could also acknowledge that there are no "objective facts" in this discussion since by definition we cannot understand what we don't understand, and every human brain, as every human, is imperfect. There is no absolute, objective truth since to know it we'd have to be non-human.

For the most part, except for that misconception mentioned above.  8-)

Mark Baker.   Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.        http://www.markbaker.ca
Web architecture consulting, technical reports, evaluation & analysis
Received on Sunday, 5 January 2003 14:31:28 UTC

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