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Re: [rest-discuss] HTTP unsuitable for (intyelligent) (web) agents?

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  • Roy T. Fielding
    ... Well, the claims about client/server protocols are just plain wrong. C/S refers to the type of interaction on a single connection. Nothing prevents a
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 23, 2004
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      > I did find a crtique of HTTP for agent systems:
      >
      > http://www-cdr.stanford.edu/NextLink/Expert.html
      >
      > Anyone (dis)agree?

      Well, the claims about client/server protocols are just plain wrong.
      C/S refers to the type of interaction on a single connection. Nothing
      prevents a server from initiating its own connections. Firewalls and
      NAT make deployment of such a system difficult on the Internet, but
      that's why they are there -- the real world doesn't want someone else's
      autonomous agent running around on their systems.

      Likewise, collaborative agents do poorly if they depend on ephemeral
      communication (like watching messages go by on a p2p network). A more
      robust architectural style for those agents is the blackboard model,
      which is data-oriented (like REST), independent of the protocol
      used to set state on the blackboard, and capable of separating private
      from public information.

      HTTP does not support mobile agents (regardless of their agent-hood).
      Someone could add a method for mobility (i.e.,
      here-is-my-code-and-state),
      but deploying it would require too many religious battles to be worth
      the effort. It also doesn't buy much over a raw TCP connection with
      SSH or TLS authentication.

      ....Roy
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