REST and POST and side effects

Clay Shirky clay@shirky.com
Thu, 23 Aug 2001 17:50:13 -0400 (EDT)


> Shirky is right. 

Oh honey, you say the sweetest things...

> HTTP is like C. It is very useful, just right for the time, has been
> extended far beyond its creators original intent, and has very ugly
> semantics. Now the creators and the RESTful folks want to go back
> and treat it as if it were Prolog, or some other language with
> tractable semantics.

To rush (halfway) to the defense of REST, it differs from the Semantic
Web in attempting to distill what makes the Web work as is, as opposed
to being completely dogmatic.

This means that there is a spectrum within the REST community from
"Here is an approach to coordination in a massively distributed and
heterogenous environment which may be useful for future work" all the
way to "People who use POST with no side effects should be hunted down
in the street."

-clay