W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-hydra@w3.org > November 2013

Re: Hydra and the uniform interface

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2013 15:33:22 -0500
Message-ID: <52950592.1010609@openlinksw.com>
To: public-hydra@w3.org
On 11/26/13 1:11 PM, Mark Baker wrote:
> Marcus,
> Creating a new thread. Ruben and I have covered related ground before
> in LDP where we also disagreed, but since this actually stands a
> chance at being useful ;), it's important we're in synch.
> On Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 7:32 AM, Markus Lanthaler
> <markus.lanthaler@gmx.net> wrote:
>> On Sunday, November 24, 2013 5:10 PM, Mark Baker wrote:
>>> On Fri, Nov 22, 2013 at 5:01 AM, Ruben Verborgh wrote:
>>>> Alternatively, we could learn from
>>>> http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2616#section-9.5 to define
>>>> standard operations:
>>>>> POST is designed
>>>>>     to allow a uniform method to cover the following functions:
>>>>>        - Annotation of existing resources;
>>>>>        - Posting a message to a bulletin board, newsgroup, mailing list,
>>>>>          or similar group of articles;
>>>>>        - Providing a block of data, such as the result of submitting
>>> a
>>>>>          form, to a data-handling process;
>>>>>        - Extending a database through an append operation.
>>>> CreateResourceOperation covers the second thing here.
>>> Sure, but that's not part of the interface to the service so out of
>>> scope IMO. The method is POST which defines the contract between
>>> client and server. Though the server may only implement one of those
>>> things above, that's an implementation detail that the more generic
>>> POST interface hides from the client.
>> I think I have to disagree with this. Hydra's operations specify the
>> semantics of an HTTP operation at a higher level of abstraction. HTTP's
>> methods are enough to implement things like proxies, caches etc. but they
>> are IMO not enough (by themselves) to convey the semantics of an operation
>> in terms of business logic.
> See below about sufficiency... But I will disagree with you that
> Hydra's operation are higher-level; they are at the same level as HTTP
> methods. Consider, when a server publishes an endpoint:
> <> :POST <http://example.org/my-endpoint> .
> it is declaring that it accepts POST requests to that URL, and that is
> the entire contract. If it wants to create things (as opposed to
> annotate things, or "extending a database"), that is its prerogative
> as an implementation and it needn't indicate that to the client a
> priori (201 is after the fact, of course), nor require the client
> indicate which one it wants/expects (as that would be tunnelling ala
> SOAP). The reason that matters from a REST POV is because REST
> requires that components be able to be substituted behind a common
> connector, and obviously that couldn't happen if clients were coupled
> to any aspect of the component/implementation.
>> POST, e.g., is specified to be non-safe and non-idempotent. That doesn't
>> tell you the difference between just storing an (opaque) order
>> representation on a server acting purely as a file server e.g. vs. ordering
>> goods. Caches etc. do not care about such details - they don't have to. But
>> clients need to IMO.
> They don't. And if they do, as above, they're not RESTful because
> they're not using the uniform interface.
> All clients need to know is which links they should be interested in
> and how to interact with them.
>> Do you really think POST/PUT etc. are enough? Or do you shove those
>> semantics in to the media type? They need to be somewhere... currently they
>> are documented in prose out of band.
> I feel that the uniform interface is  sufficient, yes (though that
> doesn't mean that the currently standardized set of HTTP methods are
> sufficient). And nothing need be shoved in to the media type for this
> to occur except for the usual links and predicates/relations.



Kingsley Idehen	
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Received on Tuesday, 26 November 2013 20:33:45 UTC

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