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This is Volume 39 of This week in REST, for August 11 2011 – September 22 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

InfoQ Explores: REST – “This is the first edition of what is expected to become a recurring series on InfoQ. The idea behind this minibook is that a number of InfoQ articles and interviews which deal with a particular topic (in this case, REpresentational State Transfer, or REST) are combined together to provide a detailed exploration suitable for both beginners and advanced practitioners.”

Restful turing machines – “I went to bed a couple of hours ago but every time I started to drift off a mosquito buzzed by. Led to this train of thought – how would you build a Universal Turing Machine with hypertext as the engine of state?” (by Danny Ayers)

Clarifying REST – “The definition of REST lost its way when popular services emerged calling themselves REST which were not. An API like Twitter is ignoring the values of the web and the browser by using HTTP as a transport for RPC (Remote Procedure Call). SOAP services also use HTTP in this way. Instead of doing RPC, HTTP should be used to transfer application state which is what REST is designed for.” (by Kelly Sommers)

Web Oriented Architecture is here to Stay, and Why Microsoft’s new WCF Stack is interesting – “WCF vNext Web Apis is a promising offering from Microsoft, but the key is evolving curry frameworks and tooling on top of the new Web APIs to support address common WOA concerns. WOA is more or less a set of best practices than a well defined methodology, so I’m not sure to what extent this can be abstracted.” (by Anoop Madhusudanan)

Identifying Application State– “This document explores the issues that arise from these new uses of fragment identifiers and attempts to define best practices. We argue that, in many cases, the use of query parameters along with the new HTML5 functionality mentioned above is preferable to fragment identifiers to identify application state.” (by W3C TAG)

Getting Things Done with REST – (video) “Ian Robinson discusses how to implement a hypermedia-driven web application and how to test its workflow giving as example a RESTful web service he built on top of Microsoft’s Web API. ” (by Ian Robinson)

Better Browser Caching – “In discussing my whinge about AppCache offline with a few browser vendory folks, I ending up writing down my longstanding wishlist for making browser caches better. Without further ado, a bunch of blue-sky ideas;” (by Mark Nottingham)

Three levels of abstraction – “i’ve spent the last year or so focusing on identifying the relationship between the protocol abstraction and the message abstraction. i’ve done this by analyzing various existing media types; developing a set of H-Factors common to all message formats that want to express protocol-level features via hypermedia controls.the next logical step is to analyze existing hypermedia implementations to locate and identify the general principles for expressing domain information within a hypermedia message. ” (by Mike Amundsen)

URI Template – (new version of IETF draft) “A URI Template is a compact sequence of characters for describing a range of Uniform Resource Identifiers through variable expansion. This specification defines the URI Template syntax and the process for expanding a URI Template into a URI reference, along with guidelines for the use of URI Templates on the Internet.”

When Acronyms Collide: SOA vs. OO – “This article looks at a particular aspect of the current state of enterprise IT: the entangled relationship between the mindset and practices of large-scale Object Oriented application development, and the requirements of Service Oriented Architecture. This relationship has gone wrong and will remain a problem – a costly problem – until it’s put right.” (by Bill Blondeau)

Discussion groups

REST API For Documentation? – “While thinking about documentation for the API we’re working on one ofour team suggested building a REST API to document the REST API. Resources in the documentation API would correspond to media types and contain data on the methods and properties available in those media types. Has anyone seen this done before? How did it work out?”

Conneg based on User-Agent – “human targeted Web sites somtimes (or usually?) adjust the representations they send based on their knowledge about the abilities of the user agents (e.g. IE might get different stuff than FireFox).I think using the UserAgent header to negotiate representation features is a nice solution for non-human targeted situations, too. ”

Are URI-Templates really coupling clients and server? – “In different resources on the web, i found different opinions about URI Templating. Some say, they are coupling clients and server (e.g. Erik Wilde). Some propose their usage (e.g. subbu).I dont see any coupling – it is not said, that an URI Template connot changed either over time. As long as the server communicates the templates – like URIs – in resource representations, where is the problem?”


RESTfest 2011 – if you missed this year’s RESTfest, watch the videos on-line here.

ECOWS 2011 – check out the many interesting papers from this year’s European conference on web service and the co-located workshops.

Interesting tweets

@mamund – “RT @dret@algermissen “i don’t think app-specific protocols are good way to go.” options: 1)protocol, 2)media-type, 3)URI. i pick 2) #REST

@dret – “@mamund i prefer to think of it as design patterns of solving common problems with (maybe new) media types and existing methods. #REST

@dret – “@mamund wrt #WebDAV and #CalDAV: they invent new methods, which are not really something you can easily do by just adding new types. #REST

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