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RE: Tim Bray on REST and Web services

From: Ugo Corda <UCorda@SeeBeyond.com>
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 10:58:23 -0700
Message-ID: <EDDE2977F3D216428E903370E3EBDDC90811A9@MAIL01.stc.com>
To: "Mark Baker" <distobj@acm.org>, <www-ws-arch@w3.org>

Here are a couple of points from Tim's note that I found interesting (prefixed with TB), followed by my comments (prefixed with UC):

TB --- "Dave Winer points out (correctly) that it would be easier for programmers with XML-RPC or SOAP toolkits to get at this if the interface were SOAP or XML-RPC via POST".

UC --- This only applies to SOAP 1.1, since SOAP 1.2 has the Web Method Feature which allows the use of GET. Of course it is still to be seen how much support this new feature will receive from the toolkit providers and how many users will be interested in using it. So toolkit providers and future users should be the target of REST people's attention (more than WSA members themselves, who might not have much input in those decision processes).

TB --- "He also points out (correctly) that it's really irritating that the URI has to include an appkey"
...
TB --- "I totally agree with DW on the second point, but it's tough to figure out the right solution. If I publish a URI with my appkey in it, then any time that gets passed around and used, then the usage goes on my account. I'm just not sure there is a good way to fit an appkey-based accounting scheme into the Web architecture, but I don't think we've really tried very hard yet, so I'm quite possibly wrong."

UC --- This shows that using the REST approach is not always that straightforward and free of side effects (even in Tim's mind). We should at least understand that many programmers (who many times are not even close to Tim's level of experience) would probably find that the easiest way out in this case is to define a WS endpoint as a URL which does not contain the "appkey" info, and then do a POST passing the appkey as an input parameter.

Ugo

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mark Baker [mailto:distobj@acm.org]
> Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2003 9:54 AM
> To: www-ws-arch@w3.org
> Subject: Tim Bray on REST and Web services
> 
> 
> 
> http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2003/05/12/SoapAgain
> 
> Bang on, as usual, except for the bit where he suggests 
> DaveO, as a TAG
> member, goes around admonishing folks for not using GET.  *That*, I'd
> like to see. 8-)
> 
> [snip]
> 
> "POST and GET, Does it Matter? It matters. First of all, if 
> you're going to do anything but just retrieve information, 
> you have to use POST. And if all you're doing is retrieving 
> information, you really really should use GET, even if you 
> could use POST."
> 
> [snip]
> 
> "REST People (like me and the rest of the W3C TAG) who go 
> around admonishing people to use GET are often said to be 
> disciples of REST. REST is an acronym invented by Roy 
> Fielding, a prominent geek who is chair of the Apache 
> Foundation and chief author of the URI specification and so 
> on. He invented it for his Ph.D. thesis, in which he tried to 
> formalize how the Web works."
> 
> [snip]
> 
> "From Here On In You, dear readers, have ringside seats! Does 
> the power of naming everything with URIs buy enough to 
> compensate for the inconvenience of having to jam complex 
> requests into them? Does the convenience of packaging up your 
> request in XML buy enough to compensate for the loss of 
> naming power? Is the future of the Web spelt S.W. or W.S. or 
> both or neither? Stay tuned."
> 
> MB
> -- 
> Mark Baker.   Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.        http://www.markbaker.ca
> Web architecture consulting, technical reports, evaluation & analysis
>   Actively seeking contract work or employment
> 
> 
Received on Tuesday, 13 May 2003 13:58:35 GMT

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