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Re: [rest-discuss] Restful Email

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  • Stefan Tilkov
    Bill, I m not sure what you re suggesting. Using email protocols such as SMTP/IMAP/POP3 for machine-to-machine communication? Sure, why not, as long as the
    Message 1 of 12 , May 3, 2009
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      Bill,

      I'm not sure what you're suggesting. Using email protocols such as
      SMTP/IMAP/POP3 for machine-to-machine communication? Sure, why not, as
      long as the unreliability (and lack of idempotent methods) is handled
      in the application layer, this is certainly doable. (One problem is
      that on the public Internet, a huge number of messages from the same
      source or to the same destination are very easily mistaken for spam.)

      But unless you mean that one could define an architectural style
      common to all types of email architectures, and give it a nice name,
      it's got nothing to do with REST. What am I missing?

      Stefan

      On 03.05.2009, at 00:49, Bill Burke wrote:

      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Jeff Robertson wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Thoughts:
      > >
      > > a) The fact that SOAP has an SMTP binding possibly taints the
      > whole idea
      > > with the aftertaste of SOAP. REST people view "protocol
      > independence" as
      > > over-engineering, and try to stick with HTTP.
      > >
      >
      > It just seems to me that trying to use HTTP asynchronously is like
      > putting a round peg in a square whole. On the internet, email is used
      > for asynchronous communication. Why not use it for web services?
      >
      > Another thought is SMS, but not sure how viable it is on a non-cell
      > network.
      >
      > > b) With email the only only "verb" is to send a message. The
      > "real" verb
      > > will end up inside the message body, thus making it an RPC.
      > (Unless you
      > > intend to make a uniform interface out of the SMTP commands
      > themselves,
      > > like HELO and DATA.. but at that low of a level SMTP is not actually
      > > asynchronous so why use it?)
      > >
      >
      > I guess there would be a logical constrained interface of "send" and
      > "receive".
      >
      > --
      > Bill Burke
      > JBoss, a division of Red Hat
      > http://bill.burkecentral.com
      >
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    • Dong Liu
      Email is in fact used in this way in some applications, for example posting a new entry on a blog or a group, getting messages from a group. I think HTTP is
      Message 2 of 12 , May 6, 2009
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        Email is in fact used in this way in some applications, for example
        posting a new entry on a blog or a group, getting messages from a
        group.

        I think HTTP is more powerful than email protocols for general
        applications. If "async" is emphasized, then MQ's are the thing to be
        compared with.

        Dong

        On Fri, May 1, 2009 at 6:34 AM, Bill Burke <bburke@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > I wonder why nobody has picked up using email, smtp/pop3, as an
        > asynchronous protocol for the Internet. It has scaled pretty well. Has
        > a constrained interface. Has a strong infrastrutre base of tools. Is
        > representation oriented and media-type aware. Pretty ubiquitous.
        >
        > --
        > Bill Burke
        > JBoss, a division of Red Hat
        > http://bill.burkecentral.com
        >
        >



        --
        http://dongnotes.blogspot.com/
      • Randy Fischer
        It seems to me that email is pretty darn RESTful in its SMTP and POP forms. SMTP: put a message. POP: get a message, get meta data about the collection, delete
        Message 3 of 12 , May 6, 2009
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          It seems to me that email is pretty darn RESTful in its SMTP and
          POP forms. SMTP: put a message. POP: get a message, get
          meta data about the collection, delete a message.

          HTTP isn't in it.  It's a RESTful architectural style already.

          What am I missing here?

          -Randy Fischer
        • Bruno Harbulot
          Hello, ... I think someone picked up on that a while ago [*] (although it probably doesn t quite match all your requirements.) Perhaps something could be done
          Message 4 of 12 , May 7, 2009
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            Hello,

            Bill Burke wrote:
            > I wonder why nobody has picked up using email, smtp/pop3, as an
            > asynchronous protocol for the Internet. It has scaled pretty well. Has
            > a constrained interface. Has a strong infrastrutre base of tools. Is
            > representation oriented and media-type aware. Pretty ubiquitous.

            I think someone picked up on that a while ago [*] (although it probably
            doesn't quite match all your requirements.)

            Perhaps something could be done on this basis.

            The Subject line could be the first line (say "GET /..." or "HTTP/1.1
            200 ..."). The other headers could be added to the e-mail headers,
            perhaps prefixed (say "X-HttpGateway-Host: ", ...), and matching which
            response corresponds to which request could use "In-Reply-To: ".

            That would only be for "http:" URIs. I suppose "mailto:" URIs could be
            used directly. In this case, you could just put the verb in the subject
            (since there wouldn't be a path).


            Best wishes,

            Bruno.

            [*] http://www.faqs.org/faqs/internet-services/access-via-email/
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