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Re: REST; good for humans and machines

From: Geoff Arnold <Geoff.Arnold@Sun.COM>
Date: Sun, 05 Jan 2003 14:35:15 -0500
To: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>
Cc: "Champion, Mike" <Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com>, www-ws-arch@w3.org
Message-id: <3E1888F3.5080604@sun.com>

Mark Baker wrote:

> On Sun, Jan 05, 2003 at 10:46:45AM -0700, Champion, Mike wrote:
>
> >So, I'll clarify what I said earlier:  If the representations being passed
> >around are being processed by humans, the REST interfaces are sufficient --
> >they just have to deliver the information, and the human reads it (or fills
> >out the form, or finds an appropriate hyperlink, or whatever).
>
>
> Wait a sec, Roy said that REST is suitable for automata.  That means no
> humans are required in the loop.  Did he not make that clear?


Just because he said it, doesn't make it true.

The examples he gave were instructive. Spiders are simple-minded
automata designed to scrape some of the human-significant aspects of
web pages. They are notoriously inaccurate, and fail completely
in the presence of dynamic content! As for the libs he described,
I have only seen them used in closed systems - for applications
to "phone home" for updates, and so forth. I would
be interested to see an example of an open service actually
constructed in this way, because somewhere in such a system is
an IDL (or WSDL) style description. And that's what defines
the service. Whether we RESTfully push much of the interface up to
a higher level is an engineering choice; frankly, REST seems to
just introduce one more layer of negligible value.
Received on Sunday, 5 January 2003 14:35:20 GMT

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