S. Alexander Jacobson alex@shop.com
Thu, 17 Jan 2002 09:48:18 -0800 (Pacific Standard Time)

On Thu, 17 Jan 2002, Jeff Bone wrote:
> As for REST being "unactionable," it's not --- many existing Web systems constitute
> existance proofs.  It really proposes nothing new that need be actionable.  REST is
> an *architectural style* and the discussion of REST has been to date a discussion
> of what characteristics of the Web give rise to what qualities.  I.e., it *is* an
> engineering philosophy discussion.  The actionable underpinnings of REST are
> largely (though perhaps not clearly enough) described in the existing
> specifications for HTTP and URI.

Ok.  So is the typical CGI application consistent
with REST philosophy?  e.g. Dave Winer's
mailtothefuture.com allows one to schedule
delivery of mail with arbitrary content to an
arbitrary user at some point in the future.  You
interact with this interface by sending it
name/value pairs in the proper format.

Typically the sending of these pairs is done using
a web browser (form post), but the python MIME-RPC
client is also able to do the same thing out of
the box.

Is this an example of REST philosophy or non-REST

For people who just want to get stuff done, why
should they care?

> That said, many of us recognize that it's a subtle discussion, and some clear
> examples need to be offered.  To that end, the "DeRPC" / "RESTifying" bits on the
> Wiki are a poor start;  Paul Prescod's article for XML.com (as yet unpublished
> there, but draft is here [1]) is a great overview as well.

I think that Paul and I are in agreement
about most things, but I'm not sure he does.
(I think he is a little more enthusiastic about
XML, but I don' think that matters so much in our


S. Alexander Jacobson                   i2x Media
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