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4423Re: [rest-discuss] Re-using information fields for queries in REST

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  • Roy T. Fielding
    Jun 1, 2004
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      > Why is discovery of a particular URI "better" than discovery of the
      > construction technique for a URI? This argues that HTML FORM GETs are
      > a bad way of creating URIs because they are fabricated.

      Caching. If you already have the information for that artist,
      why should you be forced to download it again? Often, the reason
      is because the resource provider just assumes every access is a
      query by a new user on a home PC with broadband, because that is
      the only way they have ever tested their own site.

      The query URI is still a valid identifier for the query -- it just
      isn't as useful, alone, for enhancing scalability. A redirection
      allows an infinite number of queries to be redirected to a finite
      number of resources, each of which can be cached. [Note: special
      purpose caches can be created on the server-side for handling
      common queries, as is done by Google and big e-commerce sites, but
      that only improves back-end performance.]

      Anyway, we are talking about resource discovery over arbitrary
      data categories, and hence non-hierarchical in nature. There is
      nothing wrong with telling the client how it can form URI's,
      assuming that such a function doesn't change much over time.
      Again, for cache reasons, I prefer methods of telling the client
      to use the template

      http://example.com/quotes/${exchange}/${symbol}

      rather than the template

      http://example.com/quotes?market=${exchange}&symbol=${symbol}

      There is nothing stopping WSDL-like technology from defining
      both of these mechanisms.

      ....Roy
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