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Why understanding REST is hard and what we should do about it

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  • Ivan Žužak
    Hey all, A few days ago I wrote a blog post on why I think understanding REST is hard and what we can and *should* do about it - http://wp.me/poYaf-34. Since a
    Message 1 of 12 , Apr 10, 2010
      Hey all,

      A few days ago I wrote a blog post on why I think understanding REST
      is hard and what we can and *should* do about it -
      http://wp.me/poYaf-34. Since a lot of what I wrote was inspired by
      following this group and since this group is the most relevant (only?)
      place for discussing REST - I'd like to know what you think. Short
      version (since the post is really long):

      Although there's a lot of great blog posts, papers and mailing list
      discussions, the current material on REST is a mess which makes REST
      hard to understand and confusing to discuss:
      * there is no agreed upon and widely used terminology, but a lot of
      unexplained and overlapping terms,
      * discussions are fragmented all over the web and often unnecessarily
      repeat previous discussions,
      * there are no (formal or semi-formal) models of (important) concepts.

      Therefore, I think people involved in and enthusiastic about REST
      (mostly people on this group) should:
      1. Agree that there is a problem worth fixing – do we think that we
      can create a better, clearer and more systematized way of
      understanding and discussing about REST?
      2. Express interest in fixing it – is this something people want to
      contribute their time to?
      3. Agree on how to fix it – what should be our output (a RESTopedia, a
      document, video tutorials) and how would we all contribute to and
      moderate the process?
      4. Do it – spend time discussing and developing the output.
      5. Eat our dogfood – use whatever we produce. If we don’t use the
      terminology and models we agree upon, the the mess has only gotten
      bigger.

      Cheers,
      Ivan (hoping that all of this doesn't sound as babbling of an
      overeagerly naive megalomaniac)
    • Eric J. Bowman
      ... I don t think it s up to us, and I don t think you re taking the actual problem into account -- REST being a buzzword. There is no motivation for, say,
      Message 2 of 12 , Apr 10, 2010
        Ivan Žužak wrote:
        >
        > Therefore, I think people involved in and enthusiastic about REST
        > (mostly people on this group) should:
        >

        I don't think it's up to us, and I don't think you're taking the actual
        problem into account -- REST being a buzzword. There is no motivation
        for, say, REST-* to have a damn thing to do with REST because they're
        applying the term due to profit motive, not REST enthusiasm.

        Same goes for most of the contradictory crap out there that has
        absolutely no basis in REST-the-thesis -- most of those folks only care
        about REST-the-buzzword. Once the buzzword makes for stale marketing,
        general discussions about REST will recover their sanity, and those not-
        REST APIs will call themselves whatever the next buzzword turns out to
        be.

        -Eric
      • William Martinez Pomares
        Hello Ivan. I agree with you, but: 1. In this group you have many people that actually do that, uses terms of what we understand, while other understand
        Message 3 of 12 , Apr 11, 2010
          Hello Ivan.
          I agree with you, but:

          1. In this group you have many people that actually do that, uses terms of what we understand, while other understand different things. There are discussions that focus on that, defining the terms. So, we would need to put the group to agree, and that may be problematic, since actually disagreement lead to healthy discussions.
          Even, some people just left the group because majority did not agree with them, which turns out bad.

          2. The other problem is we all have different levels of understanding of REST. There are many that work with this everyday, and thus there are some things that are a de facto reality, although academically may not be totally congruent with the dissertation. Far more, the dissertation, some one proposed, may need an update since lots of things had happened since then.

          So, what can we do? The actually existence of this group is a step forward. Actual promotion of the group so it is available to more people is necessary.
          The This week on REST wiki is another great idea.
          Opening a site with the "official" definitions and tutorial from all levels (not just development) could be another one. Problem is we may have some trouble getting all people, or majority, to agree on some definitions.

          Any way, the solution may come out from this group, or even from another one that may start somewhere else. Not sure if the future of REST concept will be closer to original idea or a derivation from the actual practices, but at some point there must be an agreement, or the concept will be diluted.

          William Martinez.

          --- In rest-discuss@yahoogroups.com, Ivan Žužak <izuzak@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hey all,
          >
          > A few days ago I wrote a blog post on why I think understanding REST
          > is hard and what we can and *should* do about it -
          > http://wp.me/poYaf-34. Since a lot of what I wrote was inspired by
          > following this group and since this group is the most relevant (only?)
          > place for discussing REST - I'd like to know what you think. Short
          > version (since the post is really long):
          >
          > Although there's a lot of great blog posts, papers and mailing list
          > discussions, the current material on REST is a mess which makes REST
          > hard to understand and confusing to discuss:
          > * there is no agreed upon and widely used terminology, but a lot of
          > unexplained and overlapping terms,
          > * discussions are fragmented all over the web and often unnecessarily
          > repeat previous discussions,
          > * there are no (formal or semi-formal) models of (important) concepts.
          >
          > Therefore, I think people involved in and enthusiastic about REST
          > (mostly people on this group) should:
          > 1. Agree that there is a problem worth fixing â€" do we think that we
          > can create a better, clearer and more systematized way of
          > understanding and discussing about REST?
          > 2. Express interest in fixing it â€" is this something people want to
          > contribute their time to?
          > 3. Agree on how to fix it â€" what should be our output (a RESTopedia, a
          > document, video tutorials) and how would we all contribute to and
          > moderate the process?
          > 4. Do it â€" spend time discussing and developing the output.
          > 5. Eat our dogfood â€" use whatever we produce. If we don’t use the
          > terminology and models we agree upon, the the mess has only gotten
          > bigger.
          >
          > Cheers,
          > Ivan (hoping that all of this doesn't sound as babbling of an
          > overeagerly naive megalomaniac)
          >
        • Will Hartung
          ... I agree with Eric. The other problem is simply that everyone already knows about REST . It s HTTP POST, right? How hard can it be. And off they go.
          Message 4 of 12 , Apr 12, 2010
            On Sat, Apr 10, 2010 at 6:28 AM, Eric J. Bowman <eric@...> wrote:

            > I don't think it's up to us, and I don't think you're taking the actual
            > problem into account -- REST being a buzzword.

            I agree with Eric.

            The other problem is simply that everyone "already knows about REST".
            It's HTTP POST, right? How hard can it be.

            And off they go.

            Sending crap over HTTP == REST. Thankfully, REST is easier to
            pronounce than HTTP. So all my ad hoc HTTP RPC interfaces now become
            REST interfaces. Simple. Just rolls of the tounge.

            So, the problem is that REST is already understood, WELL understood.
            It just happens to be pretty much completely wrong.

            Then you have to go in to the whole thesis, the concepts behind it,
            the vocabulary, etc. etc. etc. "Why can't I just POST whatever I
            want?" arguments, etc.

            It's hardly worth fighting any more. It's exhausting. If folks want to
            know about REST, they can look it up.

            If you think that REST is misunderstood, then rewrite the wikipedia
            article until it's clear, so that rather than getting in to exhausting
            discussions, advocates can just point to that and the thesis and tell
            folks to come back later if they're interested. They won't, HTTP RPC
            solves 99% of the use cases that they're REALLY trying to solve, so
            they won't make the leap to rearchitecting their system. But at least
            it makes it easier for folks using it to make the material more
            approachable.
          • mike amundsen
            First, thanks to you, Ivan, for writing that blog post and for your work to chronicle REST activities on the Web. I think you make several very good points.
            Message 5 of 12 , Apr 12, 2010
              First, thanks to you, Ivan, for writing that blog post and for your
              work to chronicle REST activities on the Web. I think you make several
              very good points. It's true that, after ten years, there is still not
              much accessible material on this very important architectural style.

              One of the problems I see is that some very good scholarship on
              architectural styles is bottled up behind IEEE and ACM pay walls. This
              makes it more difficult to build a large collection of information
              from which others can easily draw.

              My own feeling is that, at this point in time, collecting as many of
              the varied and disparate links, references, and examples as possible
              and offering them in a targeted search would go a long way to exposing
              a general theme and common ground that has developed around Roy's
              initial work over the years. That includes making rest-discuss and
              other email archives (HTTP, etc.) searchable.

              I also think that many people active on this list are type to keep
              themselves quite busy. I see very few folks here volunteering to take
              up new tasks. That's a bummer since so many on this list have been
              here quite a while and have so much to offer the general community and
              probably would offer their time if we could come up with ways to make
              it easy to contribute regularly.

              I, too, admit I'm pretty tied up. But I'm ready to offer assistance
              where possible.

              mca
              http://amundsen.com/blog/




              On Sat, Apr 10, 2010 at 08:59, Ivan Žužak <izuzak@...> wrote:
              > Hey all,
              >
              > A few days ago I wrote a blog post on why I think understanding REST
              > is hard and what we can and *should* do about it -
              > http://wp.me/poYaf-34. Since a lot of what I wrote was inspired by
              > following this group and since this group is the most relevant (only?)
              > place for discussing REST - I'd like to know what you think. Short
              > version (since the post is really long):
              >
              > Although there's a lot of great blog posts, papers and mailing list
              > discussions, the current material on REST is a mess which makes REST
              > hard to understand and confusing to discuss:
              > * there is no agreed upon and widely used terminology, but a lot of
              > unexplained and overlapping terms,
              > * discussions are fragmented all over the web and often unnecessarily
              > repeat previous discussions,
              > * there are no (formal or semi-formal) models of (important) concepts.
              >
              > Therefore, I think people involved in and enthusiastic about REST
              > (mostly people on this group) should:
              > 1. Agree that there is a problem worth fixing – do we think that we
              > can create a better, clearer and more systematized way of
              > understanding and discussing about REST?
              > 2. Express interest in fixing it – is this something people want to
              > contribute their time to?
              > 3. Agree on how to fix it – what should be our output (a RESTopedia, a
              > document, video tutorials) and how would we all contribute to and
              > moderate the process?
              > 4. Do it – spend time discussing and developing the output.
              > 5. Eat our dogfood – use whatever we produce. If we don’t use the
              > terminology and models we agree upon, the the mess has only gotten
              > bigger.
              >
              > Cheers,
              > Ivan (hoping that all of this doesn't sound as babbling of an
              > overeagerly naive megalomaniac)
              >
              >
              > ------------------------------------
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • William Martinez Pomares
              I haven t thought about Wikipedia! Hummm.... wikipedia.... Maybe is time to have a look. Is anyone in the list the one responsible of what s in the wikipedia
              Message 6 of 12 , Apr 13, 2010
                I haven't thought about Wikipedia! Hummm.... wikipedia....
                Maybe is time to have a look. Is anyone in the list the one responsible of what's in the wikipedia about REST?
                William.

                --- In rest-discuss@yahoogroups.com, Will Hartung <willh@...> wrote:
                >
                > On Sat, Apr 10, 2010 at 6:28 AM, Eric J. Bowman <eric@...> wrote:
                >
                > > I don't think it's up to us, and I don't think you're taking the actual
                > > problem into account -- REST being a buzzword.
                >
                > I agree with Eric.
                >
                > The other problem is simply that everyone "already knows about REST".
                > It's HTTP POST, right? How hard can it be.
                >
                > And off they go.
                >
                > Sending crap over HTTP == REST. Thankfully, REST is easier to
                > pronounce than HTTP. So all my ad hoc HTTP RPC interfaces now become
                > REST interfaces. Simple. Just rolls of the tounge.
                >
                > So, the problem is that REST is already understood, WELL understood.
                > It just happens to be pretty much completely wrong.
                >
                > Then you have to go in to the whole thesis, the concepts behind it,
                > the vocabulary, etc. etc. etc. "Why can't I just POST whatever I
                > want?" arguments, etc.
                >
                > It's hardly worth fighting any more. It's exhausting. If folks want to
                > know about REST, they can look it up.
                >
                > If you think that REST is misunderstood, then rewrite the wikipedia
                > article until it's clear, so that rather than getting in to exhausting
                > discussions, advocates can just point to that and the thesis and tell
                > folks to come back later if they're interested. They won't, HTTP RPC
                > solves 99% of the use cases that they're REALLY trying to solve, so
                > they won't make the leap to rearchitecting their system. But at least
                > it makes it easier for folks using it to make the material more
                > approachable.
                >
              • William Martinez Pomares
                I actually found this group in a link from a tweet, not sure if from Mike or from Dnene. I recall the link was to show a remark from Roy. Anyway, not sure how
                Message 7 of 12 , Apr 13, 2010
                  I actually found this group in a link from a tweet, not sure if from Mike or from Dnene. I recall the link was to show a remark from Roy. Anyway, not sure how hard is to find it.

                  Hey, guys, how hard is to create a magazine (digital one, of course)? I still dislike the idea that REST is discussed in the SOA Magazine as a web service technique. I think it should have its own place as architectural style. Last time I looked around, there was none.

                  I'll check around again.

                  William Martinez.



                  --- In rest-discuss@yahoogroups.com, mike amundsen <mamund@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > First, thanks to you, Ivan, for writing that blog post and for your
                  > work to chronicle REST activities on the Web. I think you make several
                  > very good points. It's true that, after ten years, there is still not
                  > much accessible material on this very important architectural style.
                  >
                  > One of the problems I see is that some very good scholarship on
                  > architectural styles is bottled up behind IEEE and ACM pay walls. This
                  > makes it more difficult to build a large collection of information
                  > from which others can easily draw.
                  >
                  > My own feeling is that, at this point in time, collecting as many of
                  > the varied and disparate links, references, and examples as possible
                  > and offering them in a targeted search would go a long way to exposing
                  > a general theme and common ground that has developed around Roy's
                  > initial work over the years. That includes making rest-discuss and
                  > other email archives (HTTP, etc.) searchable.
                  >
                  > I also think that many people active on this list are type to keep
                  > themselves quite busy. I see very few folks here volunteering to take
                  > up new tasks. That's a bummer since so many on this list have been
                  > here quite a while and have so much to offer the general community and
                  > probably would offer their time if we could come up with ways to make
                  > it easy to contribute regularly.
                  >
                  > I, too, admit I'm pretty tied up. But I'm ready to offer assistance
                  > where possible.
                  >
                  > mca
                  > http://amundsen.com/blog/
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > On Sat, Apr 10, 2010 at 08:59, Ivan Žužak <izuzak@...> wrote:
                  > > Hey all,
                  > >
                  > > A few days ago I wrote a blog post on why I think understanding REST
                  > > is hard and what we can and *should* do about it -
                  > > http://wp.me/poYaf-34. Since a lot of what I wrote was inspired by
                  > > following this group and since this group is the most relevant (only?)
                  > > place for discussing REST - I'd like to know what you think. Short
                  > > version (since the post is really long):
                  > >
                  > > Although there's a lot of great blog posts, papers and mailing list
                  > > discussions, the current material on REST is a mess which makes REST
                  > > hard to understand and confusing to discuss:
                  > > * there is no agreed upon and widely used terminology, but a lot of
                  > > unexplained and overlapping terms,
                  > > * discussions are fragmented all over the web and often unnecessarily
                  > > repeat previous discussions,
                  > > * there are no (formal or semi-formal) models of (important) concepts.
                  > >
                  > > Therefore, I think people involved in and enthusiastic about REST
                  > > (mostly people on this group) should:
                  > > 1. Agree that there is a problem worth fixing â€" do we think that we
                  > > can create a better, clearer and more systematized way of
                  > > understanding and discussing about REST?
                  > > 2. Express interest in fixing it â€" is this something people want to
                  > > contribute their time to?
                  > > 3. Agree on how to fix it â€" what should be our output (a RESTopedia, a
                  > > document, video tutorials) and how would we all contribute to and
                  > > moderate the process?
                  > > 4. Do it â€" spend time discussing and developing the output.
                  > > 5. Eat our dogfood â€" use whatever we produce. If we don’t use the
                  > > terminology and models we agree upon, the the mess has only gotten
                  > > bigger.
                  > >
                  > > Cheers,
                  > > Ivan (hoping that all of this doesn't sound as babbling of an
                  > > overeagerly naive megalomaniac)
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > ------------------------------------
                  > >
                  > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                • Guilherme Silveira
                  Hello guys, I ve made a video [1] and a description [2] on why REST != HTTP and how this is reflected in our applications. I believe we got into the wrong
                  Message 8 of 12 , Apr 13, 2010
                    Hello guys,

                    I've made a video [1] and a description [2] on why REST != HTTP and how this is reflected in our applications. I believe we got into the wrong direction at some point, that http was REST, and a easy way to make people understand more REST concepts were with Richardson's web usage maturity model. Although it went on the direction of REST, I believe it does not imply in it, that's why I recorded the video.

                    Regards


                    Guilherme Silveira
                    Caelum | Ensino e Inovação
                    http://www.caelum.com.br/


                    2010/4/12 mike amundsen <mamund@...>
                     

                    First, thanks to you, Ivan, for writing that blog post and for your
                    work to chronicle REST activities on the Web. I think you make several
                    very good points. It's true that, after ten years, there is still not
                    much accessible material on this very important architectural style.

                    One of the problems I see is that some very good scholarship on
                    architectural styles is bottled up behind IEEE and ACM pay walls. This
                    makes it more difficult to build a large collection of information
                    from which others can easily draw.

                    My own feeling is that, at this point in time, collecting as many of
                    the varied and disparate links, references, and examples as possible
                    and offering them in a targeted search would go a long way to exposing
                    a general theme and common ground that has developed around Roy's
                    initial work over the years. That includes making rest-discuss and
                    other email archives (HTTP, etc.) searchable.

                    I also think that many people active on this list are type to keep
                    themselves quite busy. I see very few folks here volunteering to take
                    up new tasks. That's a bummer since so many on this list have been
                    here quite a while and have so much to offer the general community and
                    probably would offer their time if we could come up with ways to make
                    it easy to contribute regularly.

                    I, too, admit I'm pretty tied up. But I'm ready to offer assistance
                    where possible.

                    mca
                    http://amundsen.com/blog/



                    On Sat, Apr 10, 2010 at 08:59, Ivan Žužak <izuzak@...> wrote:
                    > Hey all,
                    >
                    > A few days ago I wrote a blog post on why I think understanding REST
                    > is hard and what we can and *should* do about it -
                    > http://wp.me/poYaf-34. Since a lot of what I wrote was inspired by
                    > following this group and since this group is the most relevant (only?)
                    > place for discussing REST - I'd like to know what you think. Short
                    > version (since the post is really long):
                    >
                    > Although there's a lot of great blog posts, papers and mailing list
                    > discussions, the current material on REST is a mess which makes REST
                    > hard to understand and confusing to discuss:
                    > * there is no agreed upon and widely used terminology, but a lot of
                    > unexplained and overlapping terms,
                    > * discussions are fragmented all over the web and often unnecessarily
                    > repeat previous discussions,
                    > * there are no (formal or semi-formal) models of (important) concepts.
                    >
                    > Therefore, I think people involved in and enthusiastic about REST
                    > (mostly people on this group) should:
                    > 1. Agree that there is a problem worth fixing – do we think that we
                    > can create a better, clearer and more systematized way of
                    > understanding and discussing about REST?
                    > 2. Express interest in fixing it – is this something people want to
                    > contribute their time to?
                    > 3. Agree on how to fix it – what should be our output (a RESTopedia, a
                    > document, video tutorials) and how would we all contribute to and
                    > moderate the process?
                    > 4. Do it – spend time discussing and developing the output.
                    > 5. Eat our dogfood – use whatever we produce. If we don’t use the
                    > terminology and models we agree upon, the the mess has only gotten
                    > bigger.
                    >
                    > Cheers,
                    > Ivan (hoping that all of this doesn't sound as babbling of an
                    > overeagerly naive megalomaniac)
                    >
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------
                    >
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >


                  • Ivan Žužak
                    Eric, Will, Thanks for the comments. I definitely agree with you and do think that it s a big problem - REST is being misused as a marketing term and as a
                    Message 9 of 12 , Apr 13, 2010
                      Eric, Will,

                      Thanks for the comments. I definitely agree with you and do think that
                      it's a big problem - REST is being misused as a marketing term and as
                      a substitute term for HTTP. I myself am closer to thinking that this
                      problem is currently unsolvable and this makes the effort to sort out
                      the "mess" less attractive (since it would probably not have as big an
                      impact).

                      So, just to pick your brain a bit more, let's say/pretend that we
                      don't want to solve that problem but rather sort out the problems
                      targeting people that do have an understanding of REST beyond that
                      buzzword level. What other problems do you see, would that be a
                      worthwhile effort and what would it take to make it happen? I saw the
                      other thread on "REST clients" which Eric started -- that's exactly
                      what I'm talking about.

                      In other words, there might be multiple problems caused by the whole
                      mess, some of which might be worth solving and some not. So I'm just
                      interested in seeing if there is a problem worth solving by asking
                      what people would be interested in contributing to.

                      Thanks,
                      Ivan

                      On Tue, Apr 13, 2010 at 02:20, Will Hartung <willh@...> wrote:
                      > On Sat, Apr 10, 2010 at 6:28 AM, Eric J. Bowman <eric@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >> I don't think it's up to us, and I don't think you're taking the actual
                      >> problem into account -- REST being a buzzword.
                      >
                      > I agree with Eric.
                      >
                      > The other problem is simply that everyone "already knows about REST".
                      > It's HTTP POST, right? How hard can it be.
                      >
                      > And off they go.
                      >
                      > Sending crap over HTTP == REST. Thankfully, REST is easier to
                      > pronounce than HTTP. So all my ad hoc HTTP RPC interfaces now become
                      > REST interfaces. Simple. Just rolls of the tounge.
                      >
                      > So, the problem is that REST is already understood, WELL understood.
                      > It just happens to be pretty much completely wrong.
                      >
                      > Then you have to go in to the whole thesis, the concepts behind it,
                      > the vocabulary, etc. etc. etc. "Why can't I just POST whatever I
                      > want?" arguments, etc.
                      >
                      > It's hardly worth fighting any more. It's exhausting. If folks want to
                      > know about REST, they can look it up.
                      >
                      > If you think that REST is misunderstood, then rewrite the wikipedia
                      > article until it's clear, so that rather than getting in to exhausting
                      > discussions, advocates can just point to that and the thesis and tell
                      > folks to come back later if they're interested. They won't, HTTP RPC
                      > solves 99% of the use cases that they're REALLY trying to solve, so
                      > they won't make the leap to rearchitecting their system. But at least
                      > it makes it easier for folks using it to make the material more
                      > approachable.
                      >
                    • Ivan Žužak
                      Hello William, I agree, people on this group mostly do understand REST on a level deeper than the Buzzword. However, I ve seen lots of discussion on the group
                      Message 10 of 12 , Apr 13, 2010
                        Hello William,

                        I agree, people on this group mostly do understand REST on a level
                        deeper than the Buzzword. However, I've seen lots of discussion on the
                        group which have diverged due to misunderstandings. And yes,
                        disagreement is healthy, but not infinite disagreement as you noticed
                        at the end. At some point, you have to call it what it is, agree, and
                        move on. And sometimes, you can't see where you can move on to until
                        you've agreed on the past. The Web is moving on, and I think we're
                        lagging behind due to various issues including this one.

                        Maybe creating a wiki with definitions or collecting various material
                        created recently would be of benefit, as you say. That's actually what
                        I wanted to find out - would it be helpful to you? What would be
                        helpful to you?

                        Thanks,
                        Ivan

                        On Sun, Apr 11, 2010 at 21:26, William Martinez Pomares
                        <wmartinez@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Hello Ivan.
                        > I agree with you, but:
                        >
                        > 1. In this group you have many people that actually do that, uses terms of what we understand, while other understand different things. There are discussions that focus on that, defining the terms. So, we would need to put the group to agree, and that may be problematic, since actually disagreement lead to healthy discussions.
                        > Even, some people just left the group because majority did not agree with them, which turns out bad.
                        >
                        > 2. The other problem is we all have different levels of understanding of REST. There are many that work with this everyday, and thus there are some things that are a de facto reality, although academically may not be totally congruent with the dissertation. Far more, the dissertation, some one proposed, may need an update since lots of things had happened since then.
                        >
                        > So, what can we do? The actually existence of this group is a step forward. Actual promotion of the group so it is available to more people is necessary.
                        > The This week on REST wiki is another great idea.
                        > Opening a site with the "official" definitions and tutorial from all levels (not just development) could be another one. Problem is we may have some trouble getting all people, or majority, to agree on some definitions.
                        >
                        > Any way, the solution may come out from this group, or even from another one that may start somewhere else. Not sure if the future of REST concept will be closer to original idea or a derivation from the actual practices, but at some point there must be an agreement, or the concept will be diluted.
                        >
                        > William Martinez.
                      • Ivan Žužak
                        Thanks for commenting, Mike. Access to academic papers is a problem. I hate the whole monopoly more than most people and that s why I m publishing everything
                        Message 11 of 12 , Apr 13, 2010
                          Thanks for commenting, Mike.

                          Access to academic papers is a problem. I hate the whole monopoly more
                          than most people and that's why I'm publishing everything on my blog
                          first. Since this problem won't be going away any time soon -- maybe
                          we can just ignore it and work with what we have? Excellent blog posts
                          are being published, there are several people active on the Web that
                          are currently working at universities and do have access to that
                          material, the WWW conference proceedings are available for free
                          online, and so on.

                          So, just collecting and organizing available material/references in
                          some way is something you think would be useful to you and others? I
                          definitely think that it's valuable, both on it's own and as a first
                          step towards something more. It could also be something that wouldn't
                          require as much an effort as organizing the terminology, coming up
                          with models and other stuff I mentioned, so more people would
                          potentially chip in and not loose half of the next year over it.

                          Lastly, I think that a lot depends on coordination of activities -- no
                          coordination/planning = nothing happens. This is the hardest part and
                          where I see the least people volunteering. What do you think?

                          Ivan

                          On Tue, Apr 13, 2010 at 02:38, mike amundsen <mamund@...> wrote:
                          > First, thanks to you, Ivan, for writing that blog post and for your
                          > work to chronicle REST activities on the Web. I think you make several
                          > very good points. It's true that, after ten years, there is still not
                          > much accessible material on this very important architectural style.
                          >
                          > One of the problems I see is that some very good scholarship on
                          > architectural styles is bottled up behind IEEE and ACM pay walls. This
                          > makes it more difficult to build a large collection of information
                          > from which others can easily draw.
                          >
                          > My own feeling is that, at this point in time, collecting as many of
                          > the varied and disparate links, references, and examples as possible
                          > and offering them in a targeted search would go a long way to exposing
                          > a general theme and common ground that has developed around Roy's
                          > initial work over the years.  That includes making rest-discuss and
                          > other email archives (HTTP, etc.) searchable.
                          >
                          > I also think that many people active on this list are type to keep
                          > themselves quite busy. I see very few folks here volunteering to take
                          > up new tasks. That's a bummer since so many on this list have been
                          > here quite a while and have so much to offer the general community and
                          > probably would offer their time if we could come up with ways to make
                          > it easy to contribute regularly.
                          >
                          > I, too, admit I'm pretty tied up. But I'm ready to offer assistance
                          > where possible.
                          >
                          > mca
                          > http://amundsen.com/blog/
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > On Sat, Apr 10, 2010 at 08:59, Ivan Žužak <izuzak@...> wrote:
                          >> Hey all,
                          >>
                          >> A few days ago I wrote a blog post on why I think understanding REST
                          >> is hard and what we can and *should* do about it -
                          >> http://wp.me/poYaf-34. Since a lot of what I wrote was inspired by
                          >> following this group and since this group is the most relevant (only?)
                          >> place for discussing REST - I'd like to know what you think. Short
                          >> version (since the post is really long):
                          >>
                          >> Although there's a lot of great blog posts, papers and mailing list
                          >> discussions, the current material on REST is a mess which makes REST
                          >> hard to understand and confusing to discuss:
                          >> * there is no agreed upon and widely used terminology, but a lot of
                          >> unexplained and overlapping terms,
                          >> * discussions are fragmented all over the web and often unnecessarily
                          >> repeat previous discussions,
                          >> * there are no (formal or semi-formal) models of (important) concepts.
                          >>
                          >> Therefore, I think people involved in and enthusiastic about REST
                          >> (mostly people on this group) should:
                          >> 1. Agree that there is a problem worth fixing – do we think that we
                          >> can create a better, clearer and more systematized way of
                          >> understanding and discussing about REST?
                          >> 2. Express interest in fixing it – is this something people want to
                          >> contribute their time to?
                          >> 3. Agree on how to fix it – what should be our output (a RESTopedia, a
                          >> document, video tutorials) and how would we all contribute to and
                          >> moderate the process?
                          >> 4. Do it – spend time discussing and developing the output.
                          >> 5. Eat our dogfood – use whatever we produce. If we don’t use the
                          >> terminology and models we agree upon, the the mess has only gotten
                          >> bigger.
                          >>
                          >> Cheers,
                          >> Ivan (hoping that all of this doesn't sound as babbling of an
                          >> overeagerly naive megalomaniac)
                          >>
                          >>
                          >> ------------------------------------
                          >>
                          >> Yahoo! Groups Links
                          >>
                          >>
                          >>
                          >>
                          >
                        • William Martinez Pomares
                          Well, Reading Wikipedia, I found out English version works more on the thesis/academic part of REST (I like it overall). ON the other hand, the Spanish version
                          Message 12 of 12 , Apr 15, 2010
                            Well, Reading Wikipedia, I found out English version works more on the thesis/academic part of REST (I like it overall). ON the other hand, the Spanish version says something like:

                            "Even when the REST term refers originally to a set of architectural principles -described below-, currently it is used in a broader sense to describe any simple web interface using XML anf HTTP, without the additional abstractions of protocols based in message interchange patterns like the SOAP web services protocol".

                            In other words, it is taken for granted that the original REST meaning is no more, and that simplification is the new valid REST meaning.

                            I guess I can enter and do some changes...

                            William Martinez.
                            --- In rest-discuss@yahoogroups.com, "William Martinez Pomares" <wmartinez@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > I haven't thought about Wikipedia! Hummm.... wikipedia....
                            > Maybe is time to have a look. Is anyone in the list the one responsible of what's in the wikipedia about REST?
                            > William.
                            >
                            > --- In rest-discuss@yahoogroups.com, Will Hartung <willh@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > On Sat, Apr 10, 2010 at 6:28 AM, Eric J. Bowman <eric@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > > I don't think it's up to us, and I don't think you're taking the actual
                            > > > problem into account -- REST being a buzzword.
                            > >
                            > > I agree with Eric.
                            > >
                            > > The other problem is simply that everyone "already knows about REST".
                            > > It's HTTP POST, right? How hard can it be.
                            > >
                            > > And off they go.
                            > >
                            > > Sending crap over HTTP == REST. Thankfully, REST is easier to
                            > > pronounce than HTTP. So all my ad hoc HTTP RPC interfaces now become
                            > > REST interfaces. Simple. Just rolls of the tounge.
                            > >
                            > > So, the problem is that REST is already understood, WELL understood.
                            > > It just happens to be pretty much completely wrong.
                            > >
                            > > Then you have to go in to the whole thesis, the concepts behind it,
                            > > the vocabulary, etc. etc. etc. "Why can't I just POST whatever I
                            > > want?" arguments, etc.
                            > >
                            > > It's hardly worth fighting any more. It's exhausting. If folks want to
                            > > know about REST, they can look it up.
                            > >
                            > > If you think that REST is misunderstood, then rewrite the wikipedia
                            > > article until it's clear, so that rather than getting in to exhausting
                            > > discussions, advocates can just point to that and the thesis and tell
                            > > folks to come back later if they're interested. They won't, HTTP RPC
                            > > solves 99% of the use cases that they're REALLY trying to solve, so
                            > > they won't make the leap to rearchitecting their system. But at least
                            > > it makes it easier for folks using it to make the material more
                            > > approachable.
                            > >
                            >
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