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   Web Services and REST: what is to be done?

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2/8/2002 5:23:41 AM, Paul Prescod <paul@prescod.net> wrote:

>I offer an alternative that will end the madness and stop the
>escalation. Use HTTP because it is pragmatic. Also use it *as HTTP* so
>that it works with, not against the firewall software and firewall
>administrators. Be completely open and honest about what you are doing.
>Make each message as visible as possible to the firewall. (and invisible
>and opaque to hackers)

I'm beginning to see the point now.  Perhaps I'm too dense to get the subtleties 
here: does this point of view tend to invalidate the SOAP/WSDL paradigm or just 
suggest that the RPC message exchange pattern should probably not be implemented 
over HTTP?  Of course, this MEP accounts for about 99% of the actual use of SOAP 
in practice, AFAIK ...and 100% of XML-RPC, so this isn't a "big guys vs little 
guys" or "simple vs complex" cleavage.

Sean McGrath has a nice article on this subject 
http://www.itworld.com/nl/xml_prac/01312002/ "Having read the dissertation, I'm 
having trouble reconciling this "Web as API" view with the REST architecture. Is 
it feasible to implement the Web services vision on top of the Web without 
violating the principles in REST, which made the Web work in the first place?"

So, we apparently agree that REST raises issues that Web Services need to 
address. So how do people think  the issues will be resolved?  In what concrete, 
pragmatic way will the contradiction between REST and  RPC over HTTP potentially 
cause the Web Services bubble to burst? 

To put it differently, Sean says 'I'm having trouble reconciling this "Web as 
API" view with the REST architecture.' OK, I do too, but he notes that cookies 
violate REST principles as well.  Cookies are now so pervasive that it is rather 
difficult to use most commerce-oriented web sites with cookies disabled; does 
this contradiction say more about the web-as-it-really-is or the REST 
architectural principles?

I really don't have an axe to grind here, I'm just trying to understand what 
practical course of action the REST principles suggest vis a vis the challenges 
of the Web Services architecture.



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