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15093Re: [rest-discuss] What do you think about REST being a synonym of Service creation technique?

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  • Kevin Duffey
    Apr 1, 2010

      Interesting... when I first heard of REST a few years ago, I thought I created a REST api. I used POST for all calls, and it was basically in the form or <url>/method aka.. HTTP RPC. I hadn't read anything else about it.. just that it was basically a much easier way of doing xml-rpc using http.

      Then I learned about Jersey almost 2 years ago or so.. and started to understand the use of the various methods for CRUD like operations. I still used it much like HTTP RPC, only now it was to resources and I avoided query params except for filtering results on a GET call to a collection resource.

      Lately, as Jan and others can testify to, I've been asking a lot of questions to try to grasp the real REST meaning, and I've struggled with a few remaining concepts of it, but I have learned a lot from this forum and the jersey forum, a few books, and such.

      I tend to think most developers read a little bit about REST and come away with much the same thing I did.. an easier RPC like mechanism using HTTP methods and headers. Even the use of media types is not very common as those I talk to just use application/xml or application/json for request and response types.

      I'll be honest.. learning the "true" RESTful API style has put me off a little bit. For example, while working on a service that you would make a REST call to enable/disable something, it seemed less likely that REST was the proper architecture to use, yet I wanted to provide a single API, not two disjointed APIs. I am still not 100% clear on if such things are within the realm of using REST to change application state to turn something on or off for example, I think it's fine, but I do see how it can be quite confusing trying to learn about resource state and application state, especially with many of us coming from the servlet/httpsession stateful side of things and trying to grasp this concept of the client maintains the state (when there are two states) and so forth.

      --- On Wed, 3/31/10, William Martinez Pomares <wmartinez@...> wrote:

      From: William Martinez Pomares <wmartinez@...>
      Subject: [rest-discuss] What do you think about REST being a synonym of Service creation technique?
      To: rest-discuss@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 6:25 PM


      Hello all.
      I got the newsletter from InfoQ this week, and suddenly I noticed something that has been there since long, but till now I didn't realize it.

      In the SOA channel articles and news, there were only one of each. One article about the REST maturity levels, and one news item about REST security. Oh my...
      I thought there was some mistake, that those two items belong to the REST channel, and then I realized that there was no REST channel in InfoQ!

      Then, I had a quick twitter chat with Ryan Sloboyan, Editor from InfoQ. It seems, REST is seen just as a way to create services, opposite to SOAP / WS-* lineage. Ryan told me there is always a possibility to create a REST only channel, but he thinks that will be a narrow one, with not so many readers. The expectation is then REST readers will come just to learn how to create easy services nos using SOAP.

      Now, Jack Vaughan from SearchSOA was in a fireside chat with me, at the Java Symposium from TheServerSide, where I was to talk about REST apis, and their real meaning. He told me his idea of REST was similar to that one of the new way of doing services for SOA. We got a full room, and I asked if someone as ever read Roy's dissertation. None, and some with faces of "who the hell is that Roy guy?". The question of how many thought REST was a new way of doing services yield to several hands up. Also the one about REST as an HTTP driven RPC.

      So, all in all, it seems the idea of REST as an Easy Services Creation technique is strong, even influenced in the InfoQ categorization of articles and news.

      I know some of you do post on InfoQ, and are even editors.
      What are your thoughts? Do you think it is good to keep that idea?
      Do you think that is actually the idea?
      What do you think of posting REST as an architectural style?

      I want to hear your opinions, since I feel that would be an interesting discussion.

      William Martinez Pomares.

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