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19246Re: [rest-discuss] API versioning

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  • Eric J. Bowman
    Jan 8, 2013
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      Jørn Wildt wrote:
      >
      > My question is though - from where does the client get the
      > information it needs to extract, say, the order sum, delivery
      > address, order lines quantity and so on from the generic payload?
      >

      From hypertext. NOT from knowledge of resource type coupled via custom
      media type (vnd.order*). It seems like you're asking how to inform the
      client that this resource type is "order" -- which is simply not
      relevant to REST, where the only client knowledge required is of the
      *interface* to the resource, not the *meaning* of the resource.

      If my order-form <table> has a <th>quantity</th> column, then the
      quantity of any item ID is the corresponding <td>, i.e. you code the
      client with the XPATH expression which yields the answer you're looking
      for, assuming XHTML. If Xforms is used, this XPATH expression is right
      there in the form control binding, i.e. a self-documenting API.

      >
      > Actually, I would argue that a generic media type is more "typed"
      > than a domain specific media type. Okay, that sounds like rubbish, I
      > know - but let me explain:
      >
      > - as I stated above, a domain specific media type lets you derived
      > useful information from a resource without making any assumptions
      > about its underlying type.
      >

      I might agree with that, if generic media types didn't have
      extensibility mechanisms like, oh I dunno, link relations... AFAIC,
      domain-specific media types _are_ assumptions about the underlying
      type, i.e. an "order" is too unique a snowflake to express generically;
      what other conclusion *can* be drawn about how vnd.order* types are
      used in practice?

      >
      > - whereas a generic media type forces the client to magically assume
      > the resource has a specific type with specific properties you can
      > extract from the generic payload.
      >

      OK, this is where these discussions always lose me. A browser needs to
      know *nothing* about resource type, to allow a user to place an order
      from, like, a bazillion different websites. In REST, the client just
      needs to know how to manipulate generic hypertext controls. What is it
      about order processing that makes folks think the client needs to know
      that it's processing an order?

      -Eric

      Now playing, ***** stars for sure:
      http://archive.org/details/gd1970-11-06.aud.evans.3338.sbefail.shnf
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