Dumbing Down REST

In a comment on my last post, I pointed out that content negotiation is low on my priorities because there aren't enough smart user agents yet. In a related (and better) post, Dave Thomas explains how dumb the browser is, and how you might dumb down your applications. His idea is immediately relevant to anyone developing a RESTful GIS; when we're constrained to the same small handful of verbs (GET, POST, PUT, etc), it's easy to transfer and share architectural concepts.

Via Simon Willison.


Re: Dumbing Down REST

Author: Dave Smith

I certainly agree with the KISS principle, but I'd couch the "dumbing down" a little differently - services shouldn't necessarily be "dumbed down", but they SHOULD be clean and simple, and accessible "lights-out" without the need for a lot of RTFM and developer noggin time. How this dumbing-down/KISS is reconciled with the other SOA paradigm of "chunky vs. chatty" is yet another matter... The other thing that everyone seems in a hurry to overlook in the rush to pursue SOA (not specifically with REST but definitely JSON and other efforts) is to consider that it's not just client-server communication but also server-server communication that SOA solutions should support. Just a few of the little notions rattling around in my head, am still trying to make sense of it all.

Re: Dumbing Down REST

Author: Sean

Dumbing down, in this case, refers to making your sophisticated, 4-verb (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE) application responsive to user agents that can only GET and POST. Dave Thomas, and large segments of the Rails (or PHP, or Python, or what have you) community, might be more concerned about web browser applications, but server-server interactions have not been forgotten at all. Servers interact with other servers in the same way that clients interact with servers, using the same small, constraining set of verbs. Everything is just another user agent.

Re: Dumbing Down REST

Author: Mark Fredrickson

Ha. I had exactly the same thought when I read DT's article (picked up from another source). Lately, I've pondering the ability to use ATOM+GeoRSS as a quick foray into RESTful geo-services. Any thoughts from the web zeitgeist?