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RE: Normative constraints on the WSA

From: Thompson, Bryan B. <BRYAN.B.THOMPSON@saic.com>
Date: Sat, 17 May 2003 13:07:47 -0400
Message-Id: <D24D16A6707B0A4B9EF084299CE99B390195B40C@mcl-its-exs02.mail.saic.com>
To: "'Mark Baker '" <distobj@acm.org>, "'Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler) '" <RogerCutler@chevrontexaco.com>
Cc: "'www-ws-arch@w3.org '" <www-ws-arch@w3.org>

I think that Mark's statement here goes directly to the heart of the
matter.  REST is an architectural style, which Fielding defined as
"a named, coordinated set of architectural constraints."  I believe
that REST has served both a descriptive and proscriptive role in
shaping the URI and HTTP specifications, e.g., during the transition
from HTTP/1.0 to HTTP/1.1.

The problem that I see, and which Mark stated succicently, is that
the current proposals have a tendency to suggest a _different_ set of 
constraints.  I am comfortable with that notion, e.g., as expressed by
SOAP, as long as we understand that this is an exploration of an
architectural style that lies outside of the historical web architecture.
However, I would like to see justifications for the specific constraints
that are being relaxed as well as for those that are being introduced.
Without those justifications, it is hard to understand this as a related
experiment in any principled fashion.

I also agree with Mark's point that there is a great opportunity to
explore additional, incremental constraints on the REST architectural
style that would support a notion "web services".  This is a rich area
and one which I would like to see reflected further in the use case and
other documents of the web services architecture working group.  There
are REST-ful ways to approach many (most) of the use case scenarios.  It
would be, I think, worth our while to model them.


-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Baker
To: Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler)
Cc: www-ws-arch@w3.org
Sent: 5/17/2003 9:43 AM
Subject: Re: Normative constraints on the WSA

On Sat, May 17, 2003 at 03:39:46AM -0500, Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler)
> I don't think that anything in the architecture of the Web, at least
> I see it articulated by the TAG or the charter of the WSAWG, says or
> implies that the Web must remain the same forever.  As I've stated it,
> this may seem like a tautology or perhaps as a personally intended
> (not intended this way at all), but I'm beginning to think that in
> essence this, or something like it, is a point of real difference of
> opinion and approach.

Not at all.  But you don't see improvement by relaxing constraints and
removing the very properties that got us to where we are today.  You
see improvement by *adding* new constraints.  I welcome all innovation
on the Web that does just that (see KnowNow), and I reject all
"innovation" to the contrary; it isn't innovation, it's taking us back
between 20 and 30 years in the evolution of large scale distributed

Mark Baker.   Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.        http://www.markbaker.ca
Web architecture consulting, technical reports, evaluation & analysis
  Actively seeking contract work or employment
Received on Saturday, 17 May 2003 13:07:49 UTC

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