If you’re trying to get your arms around this whole REST thing, then the RESTian posts of the last few weeks have made that job a whole lot easier.
David Meggison starts things off with REST: the quick pitch. Including this wonderful elevator pitch: “With REST, every piece of information has its own URL.”
Mark Nottingham provides a summary of “REST Issues, Real and Imagined” that should help put to bed some of the FUD surrounding REST.
And then there’s Benjamin Carlyle’s Sound Advice blog. Man, I wish I could think like that. Benjamin has hit the trifecta with his most recent three postings (but you should really go back and read all of them): Remixing REST: Verbs and Interaction Patterns, The Architectural Spectrum, and You are already doing REST. Unlike others, e.g. myself, Benjamin doesn’t toss out the baby with the WS-BathWater, but instead provides reasoned, insightful explorations of distributed computing. A representative quote from “The Architectural Spectrum:”
Network effects are still important, even in relatively small architectures. This means that it is still worthwhile following constraints such as the uniform interface. There is no point splitting your architecture up into point-to-point integration pairs when you could just as easily have ten or twenty components participating in an architecture and working together for the same cost. The main areas that REST constraints can be relaxed in involve scalability evolvability, and even there you have something of a newtonian vs einsteinian issue. You may not see the effects of relativity when you are travelling at 60Kph, but they are there. Sure enough, when you really get up to speed at 1/4 the speed of light you’ll know it. Every architect should be aware of the constraints and the effect of bending them.
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