Fwd: [rest-discuss] W3C Working Group on Cross-Domain requests needs your feedback

FYI, below is the start of a thread by Tyler in the rest-discuss  
YahooGroup regarding the AC4CSR spec. The message is also available via:


Regards, Art Barstow

Begin forwarded message:

> From: rest-discuss@yahoogroups.com [mailto:rest- 
> discuss@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tyler Close
> Sent: Monday, January 28, 2008 12:21 PM
> To: Rest List
> Subject: [rest-discuss] W3C Working Group on Cross-Domain requests  
> needs your feedback
> Hi all,
> The Web Applications Format Working Group is currently finishing up
> design work on a specification for Cross-Domain requests in the
> browser that could have a significant impact on the design of future
> web applications. I believe the WG's current proposal puts REST
> designs at a significant disadvantage. The Working Group will be
> taking up this issue in its weekly teleconference this Wednesday and I
> hope feedback from the members of this mailing list might help
> communicate the importance of this issue for web developers.
> Currently, the Same Origin Policy limits the ways in which a web page
> served by one site, Site A, can communicate with resources hosted on a
> separate site, Site B. The WG aims to provide a way for Site B and the
> browser to agree on a loosening of these restrictions. For example,
> given the consent of Site B, the browser would allow a page from Site
> A to receive the response to a GET request on a resource hosted by
> Site B. Similarly, the page from Site A would be allowed to send an
> arbitrary POST to a resource hosted by Site B and receive the
> response.
> Essentially, the WG's current proposal is for the server to express a
> cross-domain request policy (XDRP) for each hosted resource. Before
> sending a cross-domain, non-GET request to a particular resource, the
> web browser must query that resource's XDRP and enforce any expressed
> constraints. For more detail, please refer to the the WG's current
> draft proposal <http://dev.w3.org/2006/waf/access-control/>.
> One of the problems with this design is that there is a mandatory
> network round-trip to fetch the XDRP for a resource before the browser
> can begin communicating with that resource. Essentially, there's a one
> network round-trip penalty for each distinct URI a web application
> uses. For example, consider the effect of this design on a mashup that
> uses the ATOM protocol to communicate with another site. When creating
> a new member resource, the server sends the client a distinct URI
> identifying the resource. In essence, the server is saying: "Send your
> updates here". But before sending a PUT request to the specified URL,
> the mashup application must first send a request for the XDRP, in
> effect asking permission to use the resource it was just told to use.
> The same happens for each distinct URL the client uses. The result is
> a tragically comical network protocol in which the client repeatedly
> asks permission to do what the server just told the client it could
> do.
> I've pointed out this problem to the WG and the response from one of
> the main contributors to the specification was:
> Ian Hickson wrote:
> > I do not believe that we should change the API to optimise for  
> the one
> > case of an API that involves a lot of non-GET requests to unique
> > resources. It is trivial to optimise the server's protocol in
> > this case
> > anyway (just use one URI and put the parameters in the body), and  
> this
> > more closely matches what most people will be doing anyway.
> See: <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-appformats/2008Jan/ 
> 0297.html>
> Members of this mailing list may see a similarity between this
> proposed design advice and the long-ago discussions about the design
> of SOAP where requests are all sent to a single URL and the actual
> target resource is identified by arguments in the message body.
> I also pointed out that this design advice discourages use of URIs,
> whereas webarch encourages use of URIs. The reply was *only*:
> Ian Hickson wrote:
> > I disagree with much of Web Arch.
> See: <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-appformats/2008Jan/ 
> 0299.html>
> Going forward, it seems likely that an important measure of the design
> quality of a web application will be how well it works in a mashup.
> Many designs that a REST proponent may favour involve heavy use of
> URIs. Under the WG's current proposal, these designs will be penalized
> with a network round-trip for each distinct URI. The proposal's main
> designer dismisses this design style. The WG's editor sees this issue
> as only a "quibble":
> See: <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-appformats/2008Jan/ 
> 0306.html>
> Mark Nottingham and I have proposed an alternate design for
> cross-domain requests that does not have these performance problems
> and negative design pressures. Essentially, the alternate proposal
> asks the host, instead of each resource, if it is willing to accept
> cross-domain requests. If so, these requests are then so labeled, in
> the same way as the WG currently proposes. The task of enforcing a
> per-resource policy is then managed solely by the host. Under such a
> design, there is one network round-trip before requests begin to flow,
> but it is one round-trip per host, not per resource. This way there is
> no penalty for heavy use of URIs. To date, the WG has rejected
> pursuing such a design.
> This design discussion is also taking place under the time pressure of
> the Firefox 3 release, which plans to implement the WG's current
> proposal. Should this release happen, this topic may be a done deal.
> Jonas Sicking seems to be the Mozilla representative participating on
> this WG.
> In my opinion, the WG's current proposal would have a negative impact
> on the viability of REST design on the Web. I think members of this
> mailing list should consider these issues and make their voices heard
> on the WG's mailing list for public feedback. Before posting to this
> list, you must first subscribe by sending an email to:
> mailto:public-appformats-request@w3.org?subject=subscribe
> Hopefully, significant feedback from this community will positively
> influence the discussion of these issues in Wednesday's telecon.
> --Tyler

Received on Tuesday, 29 January 2008 19:02:05 UTC