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My blog post on REST

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  • kellsommers
    Evening all! I m a new member to this list and new to REST in general. I recently read Roy s dissertation and blogged my interpretation of it. I m always
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 5, 2011
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      Evening all!

      I'm a new member to this list and new to REST in general. I recently read Roy's dissertation and blogged my interpretation of it.

      I'm always striving to learn and improve and I would appreciate getting this lists expertise feedback on my post.

      You can find it here:
      http://kellabyte.com/2011/09/04/clarifying-rest/

      Thanks so much in advance!
      Kelly Sommers

      Blog: http://kellabyte.com
      Twitter: http://twitter.com/kellabyte
    • Glenn Block
      Welcome Kelly, great to see you here. I enjoyed the post [though I am biased]. Hypermedia is definitely one of the areas where there is low awareness. Your
      Message 2 of 6 , Sep 5, 2011
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        Welcome Kelly, great to see you here.

        I enjoyed the post [though I am biased]. Hypermedia is definitely one of the areas where there is low awareness. Your twitter example is very simple but that combined with the atom example illustrates the benefit and I think will help people to take a second glance. 

        Glenn

        On Mon, Sep 5, 2011 at 5:33 PM, kellsommers <kell.sommers@...> wrote:
         

        Evening all!

        I'm a new member to this list and new to REST in general. I recently read Roy's dissertation and blogged my interpretation of it.

        I'm always striving to learn and improve and I would appreciate getting this lists expertise feedback on my post.

        You can find it here:
        http://kellabyte.com/2011/09/04/clarifying-rest/

        Thanks so much in advance!
        Kelly Sommers

        Blog: http://kellabyte.com
        Twitter: http://twitter.com/kellabyte


      • Jan Algermissen
        Hi Kelly, good to have you here. ... I saw that yesterday - looks like you picked a good start and had people pointing you in the right directions and to the
        Message 3 of 6 , Sep 6, 2011
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          Hi Kelly,

          good to have you here.

          On Sep 6, 2011, at 2:33 AM, kellsommers wrote:

          > Evening all!
          >
          > I'm a new member to this list and new to REST in general. I recently read Roy's dissertation and blogged my interpretation of it.

          I saw that yesterday - looks like you picked a good start and had people pointing you in the right directions and to the right resources.

          Regarding the Twitter example: The important thing that is missing from the Twitter API is the definition and the use of a media type that would make the message self describing. Without that, the client needs to rely on out-of-band knowledge about the format that Twitter will send[1]. Effectively, you need to bake this Twitter-specific knowledge into the client side code. That's the coupling the hypermedia constraint aims to remove.

          >
          > I'm always striving to learn and improve and I would appreciate getting this lists expertise feedback on my post.
          >

          You might find the document at [1] helpful when comparing RESTfulness of APIs.

          Jan

          [1] http://www.nordsc.com/ext/classification_of_http_based_apis.html#http-type-one





          > You can find it here:
          > http://kellabyte.com/2011/09/04/clarifying-rest/
          >
          > Thanks so much in advance!
          > Kelly Sommers
          >
          > Blog: http://kellabyte.com
          > Twitter: http://twitter.com/kellabyte
          >
          >
        • Jim Purbrick
          Hi Jan, ... This document is great! I m currently working on an API that is roughly HTTP-based Type 1 that I m trying to make more RESTful if I can, which is
          Message 4 of 6 , Sep 6, 2011
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            Hi Jan,

            On 6 September 2011 08:03, Jan Algermissen <algermissen1971@...> wrote:
            > You might find the document at [1] helpful when comparing RESTfulness of APIs.
            >
            > Jan
            >
            > [1] http://www.nordsc.com/ext/classification_of_http_based_apis.html#http-type-one

            This document is great! I'm currently working on an API that is
            roughly HTTP-based Type 1 that I'm trying to make more RESTful if I
            can, which is difficult due toHTTP-based Type 1 APIs being the easiest
            to design up front and easier to document and use (at least
            initially).

            It would be excellent to have some concrete examples of where the
            benefits of RESTful API evolution were realised and how RESTful
            clients coped with the changes - do you know if any exist?

            Good work!

            Cheers,

            Jim
          • Jan Algermissen
            ... Thanks! ... Unfortunately, no. My experience is that nobody does REST in the sense that it can show the evolvability benefits (in my Enterprise-IT biased
            Message 5 of 6 , Sep 6, 2011
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              On Sep 6, 2011, at 3:21 PM, Jim Purbrick wrote:

              > Hi Jan,
              >
              > On 6 September 2011 08:03, Jan Algermissen <algermissen1971@...> wrote:
              > > You might find the document at [1] helpful when comparing RESTfulness of APIs.
              > >
              > > Jan
              > >
              > > [1] http://www.nordsc.com/ext/classification_of_http_based_apis.html#http-type-one
              >
              > This document is great!

              Thanks!

              > I'm currently working on an API that is
              > roughly HTTP-based Type 1 that I'm trying to make more RESTful if I
              > can, which is difficult due toHTTP-based Type 1 APIs being the easiest
              > to design up front and easier to document and use (at least
              > initially).
              >
              > It would be excellent to have some concrete examples of where the
              > benefits of RESTful API evolution were realised and how RESTful
              > clients coped with the changes - do you know if any exist?
              >

              Unfortunately, no. My experience is that nobody does REST in the sense that it can show the evolvability benefits (in my Enterprise-IT biased context this primarily means eliminating the need to sit in endless interface design workshops or for server-side devs to constantly wonder who and how seriously depends on the interface they are about to change).

              It is such a radical change not only to the architectural model but also to the software development process model that I suspect we'll need t be patient another couple of years. BUt fortunately the number of people that are working on it is constantly growing.

              Jan


              > Good work!
              >
              > Cheers,
              >
              > Jim
              >
            • Craig McClanahan
              ... advantage of REST that is more difficult to achieve in a SOAP based world. As a REST API evolves, two kinds of changes are extremely common: * Adding new
              Message 6 of 6 , Sep 6, 2011
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                On Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 9:35 AM, Jan Algermissen <algermissen1971@...> wrote:

                On Sep 6, 2011, at 3:21 PM, Jim Purbrick wrote:

                > Hi Jan,
                >
                > On 6 September 2011 08:03, Jan Algermissen <algermissen1971@...> wrote:
                > > You might find the document at [1] helpful when comparing RESTfulness of APIs.
                > >
                > > Jan
                > >
                > > [1] http://www.nordsc.com/ext/classification_of_http_based_apis.html#http-type-one
                >
                > This document is great!

                Thanks!

                > I'm currently working on an API that is
                > roughly HTTP-based Type 1 that I'm trying to make more RESTful if I
                > can, which is difficult due toHTTP-based Type 1 APIs being the easiest
                > to design up front and easier to document and use (at least
                > initially).
                >
                > It would be excellent to have some concrete examples of where the
                > benefits of RESTful API evolution were realised and how RESTful
                > clients coped with the changes - do you know if any exist?
                >

                Unfortunately, no. My experience is that nobody does REST in the sense that it can show the evolvability benefits (in my Enterprise-IT biased context this primarily means eliminating the need to sit in endless interface design workshops or for server-side devs to constantly wonder who and how seriously depends on the interface they are about to change).

                It is such a radical change not only to the architectural model but also to the software development process model that I suspect we'll need t be patient another couple of years. BUt fortunately the number of people that are working on it is constantly growing.

                In time period shorter than geologic time :-), I've seen an evolution advantage of REST that is more difficult to achieve in a SOAP based world.  As a REST API evolves, two kinds of changes are extremely common:

                * Adding new properties in a resource representation.

                * Adding new types of resources (with new URIs), and then adding the
                  corresponding "link" cross references to existing representations.

                If your resource representations are not constrained to a strict schema, you can add these sorts of things without breaking existing clients, and without changing a version number of the API.  A client that doesn't understand the new property or link names simply ignores them, and a client that is updated to become aware of them can use them.

                In a SOAP API, you are typically much more constrained due to the "resource" formats, and the available method calls, being constrained by a WSDL definition of the service that the client is aware of and depends on (often, for example, client library mappings to the API are generated from it).  That means you really need a new version of the WSDL (with a new version number) for each change, with corresponding ripple effects on all the clients.

                Craig McClanahan
                 
                Jan


                > Good work!
                >
                > Cheers,
                >
                > Jim
                >



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