[decentralization] Re: REST and POST

Tony Kimball alk@pobox.com
Thu, 23 Aug 2001 13:44:02 -0500

Quoth Mark Baker on Thursday, 23 August:
: There are good reasons for ensuring that GET remains the only method with which a
: representation can be returned without side-effect a priori

HEAD also -- all the idempotent methods of the RFC, according to the
standard.  But it's a bad idea.  GET is just a degenerate form of
POST.  The idempotence of the action is not captured by the method,
and it was a bad idea to link the cache architecture in this way: POST
is more practical for moving a volume of pass-by-value arguments
through a remote purely functional component.  While it is true that
in those cases, caching architecture (really memoization) typically
*should* be bypassed, that's an optimization, and should have been
handled with idempotence flags.  Forcing application developers to
break a pure function call into a series of side-effecting
transactions is goofy.

:  [1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-rdf-interest/2001Aug/0182.html

This makes what should semantically be a pure function call into a
side-effecting operation, on the server.  In practice, I wouldn't be
willing to pay such a price in kludginess in order to play nice with
dumb caches unless I was dealling with large data.