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Re: media types as anti-pattern (was: Why polyglot is needed)

From: Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 2013 10:03:25 +0200
Message-ID: <CAKaEYh+istXVXu81+H-SqWggsxcYpAX8gsWbfqnJsbJZhqNOAA@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Eric J. Bowman" <eric@bisonsystems.net>
Cc: Harry Halpin <hhalpin@ibiblio.org>, TAG List <www-tag@w3.org>
On 26 March 2013 05:18, Eric J. Bowman <eric@bisonsystems.net> wrote:

> Harry Halpin wrote:
> >
> > Yet I'm of the "media types might be an anti-pattern" opinion the
> > more I think about this given they can't be controlled often by
> > document authors.
> >
> An architecture not based on media types would change the nature of
> intermediaries, obsoleting much of the deployed infrastructure of the
> Web.  The result is some other pattern entirely, i.e. an architectural
> style which is no longer REST, which has yet to be defined.
> While problems do exist, the concept of media types is so central to
> the Web architecture, that basically calling them a flaw in that
> architecture drastically understates the ramifications -- deprecating
> media types results in a completely undocumented and untested new
> architectural style.
> Scientifically, I have to be skeptical of this notion for a system as
> massively peer-reviewed and deployed as the Web, when the proposed
> mechanism for such sweeping change is a TAG edict not backed up by any
> published academic work.
> I believe that the concepts in REST are more important than the style
> itself -- Roy devised a methodology for improving the Web architecture.
> If, after this much passage of time, we come to falsify his conclusions,
> hasn't the fantastic success of the modern Web vs. the original Web over
> that time proven the methodology sound?
> Falsification of REST's reliance on media types has not emerged as yet,
> but if there's a case to be made (as some of you seem to believe), then
> by all means make it, using Roy's proven methodology so we can all
> follow your logic, and those qualified may participate in the peer-
> review process involved in the publication of a scientific paper.
> This paper may be made quite concise by stipulating to Dr. Fielding's
> definitions and classifications (as they're the accepted science in the
> field, now). The goal, starting with the null style, is to add
> recognized constraints derived from existing styles, to create a new
> hybrid style which addresses the limitations of the existing Web and
> devises solutions to them.
> Such a paper must then honestly compare and contrast the new style with
> REST, in terms of scalability and security, based on prototype
> implementations.  The TAG is tasked with the stewardship of the Web
> architecture.  If the TAG determines that the architecture is outmoded
> and needs changing, such a decision demands nothing less than getting
> such an academic work out there for peer review *before* taking action.
> Until then, I remain unconvinced that sniffing for magic numbers is any
> more than a *different* solution, not a *better* solution, if I have to
> leave the pros and cons to the unsubstantiated opinions of myself and
> others.


> -Eric
Received on Monday, 1 April 2013 08:03:53 UTC

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