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19454Re: [rest-discuss] conneg considered harmful

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  • Glenn Block
    May 21, 2013
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      Hello folks, been a long time!

      A very interesting and educational discussion indeed. 

      Previously I have pushed quite heavily the support of server-driven conneg, which is something we enable quite easily in ASP.NET Web API though without redirects.

      It's possible to return a redirect, but that requires the user to do the heavy lifting. 

      Can someone elaborate a bit more on the harms of not doing the redirect. I read through the different threads, but having a concise summary would be valuable.

      A different question this brings up is the concern of costs associated with doing this in particular for a cloud-hosted deployment where each request costs money / compute hours. 

      • Does adding in this redirect mean there's any significant cost increase? If you are talking about secure or data that is dynamically generated then a cache may not necessarily help offset that.
      • Does the benefit outweight the cost in these cases?
      I am curious what folks on the list are doing with regards to APIs deployed in the cloud.


      On Sat, Feb 16, 2013 at 2:01 AM, Alan Dean <alan.dean@...> wrote:

      To be clear what Roy actually said was "In general, I avoid content negotiation without redirects like the plague because of its effect on caching." (my emphasis)

      Alan Dean

      On Sat, Feb 16, 2013 at 6:01 AM, Peter Williams <pezra@...> wrote:

      Most of those don't talk about why using content negotiation is bad in general.  Instead they talk about how truly different resources should have their own uris even if they are variants of one another (eg articles about the same subject written in different human languages). That seems very reasonable.  However, those arguments don't apply to situations where multiple, truly mechanically translatable, representations of a single resource exist.

      One of those mention that conneg has a negative effect on caching. Is being harder to cache the only ill effect of sever driven conneg?


      On Feb 15, 2013 3:31 PM, "Alan Dean" <alan.dean@...> wrote:
      Perhaps it is worth referencing some other other Fielding quotes on the subject:

      Alan Dean

      On Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 8:21 PM, Peter Williams <pezra@...> wrote:


      That is an interesting quote. I have occasionally heard
      unsubstantiated claims regarding the badness of accept header based
      content negotiation. It is interesting that Roy perceives it as

      Personally, i rather like it but perhaps i am missing something
      important. I'd definitely like to hear someone (or multiple someones)
      actually articulate what they perceive as problematic about it. So far
      i don't recall ever reading a discussion of the downsides that got
      beyond "i don't like it" or "it is hard for me to implement" (neither
      of which resonate with me).

      On Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 9:04 AM, Eric J. Bowman eric@...> wrote:
      > Mark Baker wrote:
      >> Besides, client driven uses hypermedia so is way more RESTful.

      Mark, can you explain a bit more why you think this? It is not clear
      to me why avoiding this particular part of http's uniform interface
      would make a client more RESTful.


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