Re: BPs around REST and APIs

hi all,

I want to say that I am totally with Erik on this. I too think that
the use of hypermedia, typed links, is essential to all of this. And I
hope that the document will pay appropriate attention to this aspect.

FWIW, I just came back from the Research Data Alliance meeting in
Paris where I did a talk about HATEOAS as a means to achieve a coarse
grained but very valuable level of interoperability for web-based
scholarly communication:

Also, I would recommend a reading of the following paper that goes
beyond using REST/HATEOS for access to documents/data but even to
include computational processes:

Enhancing integrated environmental modelling by designing
resource-oriented interfaces (closed access) access)



On Fri, Sep 25, 2015 at 10:40 AM, Erik Wilde <> wrote:
> hello annette.
> On 2015-09-25 07:46, Annette Greiner wrote:
>> I’ve cobbled together a proposed set of BPs for APIs and REST that
>> attempts to take into account some of the things you were concerned about in
>> the Data on the Web Best Practices doc. It’s in a Google doc at present. Can
>> you take a look at it and provide feedback? This needs to be looked at by
>> someone other than me who knows something about REST.
> thanks a lot for that, i have made copious comments. generally speaking, to
> me the whole text still is taking the perspective of "design your data", and
> then, as a second and separate step, "design your API". i take issue with
> that perspective, which is why i made my initial comment about hypermedia.
> if you start from a web perspective, you design your data/service to be
> webby. that's the starting assumption. you design it so that consuming
> applications can navigate it and access it in ways that hopefully work for
> them. these designs can be relatively simple (allow pages access so that
> clients can access the data piecemeal), or more sophisticated (allow filters
> so that clients can request specific "views" according to their needs).
> regardless of the features you provide, once you are done designing the data
> and the navigation paths that can be used to access it, *that is your API*.
> your data *is* your API. that's the idea of the web, that your data is
> hypermedia that can be explored by hypermedia navigation. the actual API (on
> the technical level) is always the same, it's HTTP with whatever additions
> to the uniform interface that you think you need.
> if you approach the issue from the two-step perspective (1: design data; 2:
> design API), you're not really talking about webby data, you're simply
> talking about data that you also could make available via FTP or some other
> remote access protocol, and that you just happen to make available through
> some "web download link."
> i do understand that in practice, a lot of data actually is designed and
> made available in this non-webby way, where the web simply becomes a way to
> "download the dataset" (i call this pattern "FTP via HTTP", and it's one of
> the REST anti-patterns we use in REST tutorials). but i do think that a
> document entitled "data on the web" should at least mention and describe the
> webby way to do it, and then maybe could also mention the non-webby way that
> often happens in practice. in the end, shouldn't such a document encourage
> data/service providers to be more webby, so that more data/services on the
> web actually are provided in webby ways?
> thanks and cheers,
> dret.
> --
> erik wilde |  -  tel:+1-510-2061079 |
>            | UC Berkeley  -  School of Information (ISchool) |
>            | |

Herbert Van de Sompel
Digital Library Research & Prototyping
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Research Library


Received on Friday, 25 September 2015 18:31:13 UTC