Paul Prescod on REST vs RPC
Paul Prescod has written a long and thoughtful piece on REST. He says, in part:
For instance, a balkanized way to reference about a particular stock value is as WebService.stockQuote("KREM"). This syntax is particular to some programming language and is not available outside of it. It can only be used by some other service through some form of glue. A universally addressable way is http://www..../webservice/stockquotes?KREM.
Is it just me, or this discussion a
little like a
Necker cube? I see
it both ways, depending on how I look.
I wish, though, that we could drop the tired stock-quote example. Calling a service with one simple value, and returning one simple value, does make the point that an equivalently standard one-line SOAP invocation, while possible, doesn't exist yet. But what about when complex objects are passed?
True, we can send and receive blobs of XML atomically. Paul notes we can then pipeline these operations, and he likens HTTP GET and PUT to the Unix shell's pipe operators. I guess that's true. On the other hand, if the command I stick after the pipe operator can support introspection, then I want to use that instead of a man page.
Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2002/02/24.html#a88