REST Questions

Paul Prescod paulp@ActiveState.com
Sat, 25 Aug 2001 13:48:28 -0700


Mark Baker wrote:
> 
>...
> 
> Moving headers into SOAP, then binding SOAP to HTTP and SMTP,
> may help here, if only because it's looking like it'll be the
> same group of people doing both, so no NIH worries.  This *may*
> also help lower the need for SMTP over time too.

I'm not an HTTP purist but I thought you were. ;-)

Isn't moving headers into the HTTP body working against the HTTP model?

>...
> It need not be SOAP.  Just type an URL into an email, and send
> it to http-gateway@foobar.org.  That could mean GET.

Yeah, but most of the interesting stuff is in POST. (I'm talking about
buying and selling stuff)

To keep it simple you want to minimize the layers of wrapping the person
needs to type. So you would probably want to jettison one of HTTP or
SOAP. If the system is otherwise SOAP then you would probably choose to
get rid of the HTTP layer and just use SOAP headers to tell the gateway
where the message should go.

But I'll repeat that in the real world the app is likely to be
represented through an HTML page and the only question is whether it
sends the data to a mailto: (SMTP queue) or http://localhost/ (a local
micro-HTTP). And if you do the latter you have the potential to build a
much better user interface. Conforming to REST is an incidental benefit.

Let me ask the RESTers their opinion about a sociological question. Why
haven't local micro-HTTPs really taken off? I think I have only one or
two apps on my desktop computer that use micro-HTTP. And nobody seems to
be working on a micro-HTTP based IM.
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