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   Re: [xml-dev] ANN: Building Web Services the REST Way

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I think Rich knew the answer when he asked the question and was just
verifying for understanding. So I don't mean to insult him by being
redundant below:

Don Park wrote:
> Paul,
> At this point, no one in the commercial world will put application
> servers in the DMZ zone nor let connections to pass through the DMZ zone
> unchecked.  Or are you saying that REST is just for intranet
> applications?

Nope. Didn't say that at all. The point of CGI and its descendents is
that the server is a Common *Gateway* Interface. They translate between
the data model of the Web (REST) and the data model of your internal
systems (relational, OO, whatever). Rich says: "I'm legally disallowed
from having my Web gateway understand the semantics of the information
it is dealing with." Well then it can't translate between the two data
models. It's like handing encrypted text to BabelFish: "Encrypted
English to Encrypted French please".

At best his CGI-alike can hand the data across the DMZ as if it were a
dumb socket proxy (as opposed to a Web gateway). HTTP is happy to do
that (don't ask, don't tell) but it isn't REST. What you lose by not
translating into the standard data model is the same thing you would
lose if you don't translate into XML or Unicode: interoperability with
code that knows how to work with that standard. Rich doesn't have a
choice so I'm not going to criticize him for not using REST. I'm just
pointing out that it isn't a failing of REST that it cannot do the exact
opposite of what it was designed to do. It's like asking for an object
modeling style that doesn't require you to use objects. ;)

He can't afford to pay the price of REST and he won't get the benefits.
A perfectly legitimate engineering choice.

Come discuss XML and REST web services at:
  Open Source Conference: July 22-26, 2002, conferences.oreillynet.com
  Extreme Markup: Aug 4-9, 2002,  www.extrememarkup.com/extreme/


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