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This is Volume 32 of This week in REST, for Jan 8 2011 – Jan 28 2011. 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

Uniform Interface Wins – “For smaller scale sets of interfaces and users, custom interfaces work fine.  However, such an approach doesn’t scale up to enormous graphs of interfaces and interface users.” (by Ray Polk)

Seven ways to think like the web – “Back in October, at the Traction Software users’ conference, I led a discussion on the theme of observable work in which we brainstormed a list of some principles that people apply when they work well together online. It’s the same list that emerges when I talk about computational thinking, or Fourth R principles, or thinking like the web. Here’s an edited version of the list we put up on the easel that day…” (by Jon Udell)

RESTful SOA or Domain-Driven Design – A Compromise? – (video) “Vaughn Vernon advocates using DDD’s strategic modeling patterns when integrating services in a RESTful SOA implementation, avoiding one of SOA’s pitfalls: focusing on services rather than the domain.” (by Vaughn Vernon)

W3C Technical Architecture Group Status Report (August – December, 2010) – This is a report from the W3C Technical Architecture Group to the W3C membership on TAG activities from August through December, 2010.

on generic, specific, and custom media types – “my point here is to highlight my wide range of approaches at media type design (so far). while it’s true i tout the potential positive values of custom media types, it is not at all true that i favor ‘generic’ over ‘specific’ designs. it’s important keep these two aspects (‘custom’ vs. ‘generic|specific’) of a media type clearly separated. the assumption that goes along with the ‘custom’ attribute is that the media type suffers from a small reach or limited distribution. also, there are folks who are of the opinion that media types whose reach is limited should not be considered ‘valid’ or ‘viable’ media types (for “the Web” or for “the RESTful Web”,etc.).” (by Mike Amundsen)

Is REST important for Cloud? – “With more a more Cloud implementations being developed by vendors and open source efforts, their RESTfulness is usually mentioned as an important feature. But William’s question remains: if the most successful Cloud vendor to date does not use REST, does it really matter?” (by Mark Little)

The seeds of REST’s destruction – “Having a nice, clean ideal like strict REST is wonderful. But at some point you have to listen to what the Universe is telling you. If the Interwebs were not built on REST, and the larger body of software developers are not adhering to REST now, what is the message we should be getting?”

What does a URI name? agree? – “A representation of information, and U refers to that information (format agnostic) and we retrieve that information by using U as name for the purpose of referencing.So U is always used to refer to information about a thing, and that thing can be anything. — I’m interested to know, if anybody disagrees?” (by Nathan Rixham)

Roy Fielding: Geek of the Week – An interview with Roy Fielding from August 2010, touches upon REST, SPDY, OpenID and many other technologies. (Richard Morris)

Using Google Protocol Buffers Hypermedia Type with WCF RESTful Services: A media type processor sample – “Given its optimal representation of structured data, protocol buffers it’s a great option for representing data processed by RESTful services. To follow the principles of REST, protocol buffers should be a represented as a new hypermedia type. In the current version of Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), incorporating a new media type requires a significant amount of effort. Fortunately, the new version of the WCF HTTP stack makes media type a first class citizen of the WCF programming model.” (by Jesus Rodriguez)

The REST bubble – “But when an API document starts with a REST lesson and when PowerPoint-waving sales reps pitch “RESTful APIs” to executives you know this REST thing has gone way beyond anything related to “the fundamentals”. We have a REST bubble on our hands.” (by William Vambenepe)

RE: The REST Bubble – “In the end, longer-term case studies will do a much better job of illuminating whether or not REST actually delivers on the (business) value it promises, and whether the “simpler” solutions for the short-term continue to be sustainable and cost effective in the long run. Until then, you’re probably jumping the gun a bit.” (by Mike Kelly)

regarding the “REST Bubble” : piling on… – “I predict, as w/ SOAP-RPC, this current HTTP-RPC fad will run full course in about ten years due to relativley similar problems (protocol mismatches and failures w/ long-term evolvability). check w/ me around 2018 or so. then we’ll see what new marketing fad will be on the rise in ‘big IT.’ i have no idea what that fad might be. but i am pretty sure of one thing.the next big IT marketing success will not be Fielding’s REST” (by Mike Amundsen)

Should REST be Organic? – “I think we’ve all had negative experiences with trying to follow an architectural principle (REST, OOP, or whatever) religiously.  I think most of us realize that focusing on delivery to market through multiple iterations and user requirements and feedback is much more important than whether we religiously follow a specific guideline.  The easy answer is “Then don’t call it REST!”, but we’d have a very limited vocabulary in software engineering if this mantra was followed with every new architectural style that was created.” (by Bill Burke)

Using REST and the cloud to meet unexpected and unusual demand – “Every so often this business gets unexpected spikes, these spikes aren’t a result of increased volume through the standard transactions but are a result of a peak on specific parts of their site, often new parts of the site related to (for instance) sales or problem resolution. The challenge is that these spikes are anything from 300% to 1000% over their expected peak and the site just can’t handle it.So what is the solution? The answer is to use the power of HTTP and in particular the power of the redirect.” (by Steve Jones)

Repurposing the Hash Sign for the New Web – “The Hash sign (#) in a URI was originally used to introduce a static “fragment identifier”, but recently it is being used in many more complex ways as it is set by and interpreted by JavaScript in Web applications. Fragment identifiers are used to provide several different kinds of parameters to the client-side application, such as the actual URI of a video to be played to a video player, or the position and zoom to a map. Unlike search parameters preceded by “?”, the characters in the URI bar after the hash can be changed without causing the page to be reloaded. Applications and toolkits using fragment identifiers in this way often go to some effort to keep a history and make sure the back button works as expected. Accessibility and search can, however, be compromised because without running JavaScript, the URI has no meaning. Such uses of the “fragment identifier” have interesting and different properties, and differs from the way it is currently described in specs. This document explores the issues that arise from these new uses of fragment identifiers, and attempts to define best practices.” (by T.V. Raman, Ashok Malhotra)

Final Word on REST Resources – “As engineers, we spend so much time in our world providing clarity around our data model, whether it’s a database schema, and object model, or even a file of comma-separated values, that it pains us when we hit a generic term like Resource, that can’t always be defined with that precision.”

experimenting w/ RESTful clients – “i am working on various abstract models for implementing RESTful hypermedia clients. IOW, i think there are some key abstractions that all RESTful client applications share. i am also testing some ideas on M2M (machine-to-machine) clients along the way. if this work pans out, i expect to have some clear ways to talking about designing and implementing client appliations that are hypermedia-aware, follow RESTful principles, and can support some level of M2M operations.” (by Mike Amundsen)

The ‘Internet of things’ needs to be service-oriented – “The paper discusses the differences between REST and DPWS, points at several features of DPWS that are addressed in limited ways by REST (and vice-versa) such as service discovery: you can discover REST resources by getting their URI (HATEOAS but how do you get that URI in the first place, how do you resolve it?) and proposes the use of small local units, called LDUs (Local Discovery Units) to enable the discovery of both DPWS and REST services.” (by Dominique Guinard)

B2B Applications for REST’s Uniform Contract constraint – “This is very much how the REST uniform contract constraint works both in theory and in practice. We end up with a uniform contract composed of three individual elements: The syntax for “resource” or lightweight service endpoint identifiers, the set of methods or types of common interactions between services and their consumers, and the set of media types or schemas that are common types or information sets that are exchanged between services and their consumers. By building up a uniform contract that focuses on the what of the interaction, free from the business context “why” we are free to reuse the interface in multiple different business contexts.” (by Benjamin Carlyle)

Atomic Transactions for the REST of us – (presentation) Does REST need transactions and a protocol for achieving them. (by Cesare Pautasso)

Software frameworks

Jersey 1.5 is released – “We have recently released version 1.5 of Jersey, the open source, production quality, reference implementation of JAX-RS. The JAX-RS 1.1 specification is available at the JCP web site and also available in non-normative HTML here.”

Bowler – “Bowler is a RESTful, multi-channel ready web framework in Scala with a functional flavour, built on top of Scalatra and Scalate, with Lift-JSON doing the heavy JSON lifting.”

EasyHttp – “As of late, much of the code I write, somehow or other has to communicate with an HTTP server. Be it a “ReSTful” service or a “Wanna-be-ReSTful” service, I’ve had the need to make GET, POST, PUT et al operations and work with JSON.After writing smaller wrappers around WebRequest on a few occasions, I decided it’s time to formalize the wrapper. This has given way to EasyHttp.”


WS-REST 2011 – “The deadline for submitting papers for WS-REST 2011 has been extended to 10 February 2011. If you haven’t already submitted a paper, now’s your chance.”

Interesting tweets

@AndrewWahbe – “Step 1: Coin the term “Platform as a Browser” (Done! That was easy!) Step 2: Explain what the hell I mean by that (Will take some time…)”

@stilkov – “What’s the current status of standardization of hypermedia support in JSON, particularly link relations? Any current list of efforts?”

@darrel_miller – “Most of REST’s constraints are focused on preserving independent evolvability over time, which is only measurable on the scale of years” RF


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