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   Re: [xml-dev] Web Services - what is the alternative? (was TAG on HLink)

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On Wed, Sep 25, 2002 at 09:05:43PM -0700, Bill Humphries wrote:
> On Wednesday, September 25, 2002, at 06:59 PM, Rob Griffin wrote:
> >The first one accesses my mobile (cell) phone provider's web site 
> >using HTTP
> >and HTTPS to use a facility they offer where you can send an SMS from 
> >a web browser.
> >This involved grovelling through HTML to find the form tags to 
> >determine what
> >fields I needed to send and sniffing the data sent on the connection 
> >to see
> However, I don't think that the example is a canonical example of a 
> REST application.

Certainly not! Though I can't claim to be a REST guru, I've been lurking
on the REST mailing list for several months, and I don't think anyone in
that community would advocate building applications based on
machine-processing HTML.
> If your SMS provider's interface had the capablity to 
> return status and error messages in XML, then your integration would 
> had been easier

That may be useful, but AFAIK it's not RESTful. HTTP provides a rich set
of error codes. The advantage of using them (as with the HTTP request
methods) is that they are standardized through a widely-deployed
protocol--and one whose various implementations are by and large
faithful to the spec. That substantially reduces the amount of
application-specific semantics you have to deal with, making for
loosely-coupled, easily interchangeable components.

Matt Gushee
Englewood, Colorado, USA


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