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This is Volume 29 of This week in REST, for Nov 2 2010 – Nov 20 2010. For more information on this blog see this post. If I missed an interesting blog post, discussion or paper – just e-mail me the links, tweet or leave a comment on the latest blog post. Thanks!

Around the Web

Will HTTP/2.0 Happen After All? – “…when we started HTTPbis a couple of years ago, there was a strong sentiment against creating a new protocol, both because of the can of worms it would open, and because of deployment problems in doing so. However, I’ve recently heard many people complaining about the limitations of HTTP over TCP, and it seems that one way or another, we’re going to start tackling that problem soon.” (by Mark Nottingham)

Time for REST is over – “The problem is that few web services or RESTful hypermedia describe a data model. Representations themselves don’t often describe a data model, they describe a format. This is the same problem as WS-RT, in that they’re trying to describe updates to a format (XML), not a data model.” (by Stu Charlton)

Is OAuth Stateless? Can it work for REST? – “But one complaint that was kind of annoying was a standard rallying cry of the detractors that OAuth is not stateless. Ergo, it violates the principles of REST, and, ergo, is not consistent with the overall architectural direction. So here is my take on that.”

Exploring resources, a resource programming model, and code-based configuration – Prototype of a new resource programming model in development for WCF. (by Glenn Block)

Beyond Web 2.0 APIs : Implementing RESTful Hypermedia for .NET Applications – Code and slides for a talk on implementing “… RESTful .NET applications using Hypermedia instead of typical Web 2.0 APIs.” (by Mike Amundsen)

XML-RPC keeps chuggin along – “So when people compare SOAP to REST, and not to XML-RPC I wonder if they know that REST is missing something that it should always have had, a standardized way of serializing structs, lists and scalars. That’s something XML-RPC (and SOAP) have always had, and any discussion of these technologies should include that advantage relative to REST, which forces you to cook your own serialization with every API.” (by Dave Winer)

What REST is really about – A post filled with quotes from Roy Fielding’s dissertation explaining what REST is really about. (by Bob DuCharme)

Cookies are gross – “Cookies are crap because they are used to create shared state over a protocol that is deliberately stateless, and session hijacking is just one example of the problems that causes.” (by Mike Kelly)

RESTing at Øredev – “There was quite a bit of REST chatter at Øredev last week.  I sat in on the REST in Practice tutorial by Ian Robinson and Jim Webber (if you have not read the book they co-authored, then do – it’s really well written).  There were a couple of things that these two guys cleared up for me, in the tutorial and in conversation during the week…” (by Aslam Khan)

Partial resource update, one more time – “Alex Scordellis has a good blog post about how to handle partial PUT in REST. It starts by explaining why partial PUT is needed in the first place. And then (including in the comments) it runs into the issues this brings and proposes some solutions. I have bad news. There are many more issues.” (by William Vambenepe)

The Counterintuitive Web – (video) “Ian Robinson considers that programming for the web requires a different architectural approach than for applications: clients are interested only in URIs, clients are responsible for the integrity of a sequence of requests, and one should implement application protocols as protocol resources , not domain resources.” (by Ian Robinson)

Web Linking – “the recently published RFC 5988 (Web Linking) specifies relation types for web links more generally, and definesa registry for them. it also defines the use of such links in HTTP headers using the Link header field. this means that from now on, links for RESTful application do not (necessarily) have to be embedded in representations anymore. instead, if they pertain to the requested resource, they can be communicated in a Link header field, which is specifically mentioned to be semantically equivalent to HTML’s <link> element and Atom’s feed-level<link> element.” (by Erik Wilde)

REST Architecture – Simplified – “Recently, while working on some collaboration functionality for our suite I got a chance to work on a REST (Representational State Transfer) based web server. There are many great resources about REST out there but most of them are quite technical and it took a me a while to get it. So, in this post I am trying to explain in some simple terms what I have understood about REST.” (by Abhishek Rakshit)

Interfaces for Interoperability – “Last week, I presented at QCon in San Francisco on a topic related to the interfaces of the web for interoperability in a track organized by Stefan. The session was about how to use the interfaces of the web to promote interoperability. Here are the slides – Do You Do REST?” (by Subbu Allamaraju)

Why using REST will kill your project – “You see the root of the problem, I believe, is that REST is a heavyweight protocol.  At first when you are designing the APIs in waterfall you try to alleviate this by chunking requests, and having fat methods that return lots of data in one go.  In agile you don’t notice it at first but when you start to scale you notice how slow everything is and how your traditional optimization strategies don’t seem to work so well.  Basing an application on REST is like basing an assembly program on interrupts, as the early Macintosh I/O was, like putting every memory access over a relatively glacially paced network bus.”

The End Of The Road For Web Services – “Web services as a strategy was fundamentally flawed in my view because it was so un-web. It took an idea that hardly worked on an Intranet – remote manipulation of tightly-specified objects – and tried to make it work on the Internet. It led to software applications that by default were complex, brittle and heavy.” (by Simon Phipps)

RESTful architecture: what should we PUT? – Interesting discussion on resource updates and partial PUTs. (by Alex Scordellis)

REST discussion group

Digest Authentication related – “If the client knows in advance that server requires Digest Authentication for aresource, can it include “Authorization” header with each request to avoid 401error? How about nonce and qop in this case. What are the pros and cons of this approach.”

Is it considered bad practice to perform HTTP POST without entity body? –  “I need invoke a process which doesn’t require any input from the user, just atrigger. I plan to use POST /uri without body to trigger the process. I want toknow if this is considered bad from both HTTP and REST perspective?”

Support for PUSH subscriptions – “In my distributed environment I have a host application that provides a list of services. Client applications are able to determine which service is of interest, and then the client wants to receive updates related to that service. I’ve come across two strategies…”

Interesting tweets

@AndrewWahbe – “A standardized way of serializing structs, lists and scalars is missing REST (not the other way around)

@psd – “@ldodds that’s where I’m at: the Web is turning into a series of Code on Demand leaf-node applications sitting on top of key protected APIs.”

@dret – “minimum overhead & maximum reusability for web-based slide shows: serve plain images with #HTML link relations in #HTTP link headers. #REST

@pkeane – “@dret for syndication, feeds are pure gold. Adding R/W w/ AtomPub less so. We do lots of Atom & JSON out but moving to mostly JSON in.”

@progrium – “Some of the most interesting ideas come from taking existing client-server systems and reversing the role of client and server.”

@savasp – “The #RESTinPractice source code has started appearing at More is coming soon. Let us know of any issues.”


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