[FoRK] HTTP 0.2, 9p, and op

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Thu Dec 24 07:08:09 PST 2009


Mappings between namespaces and protocols , generic interfaces for  
things like HTTP, 9p, and similar resourceful and RESTful protocols  
(op, a latency-insensitive, more RESTful and less chatty 9p  
derivative) have been much on my mind lately.

This has been around for some time, but I stumbled across it again  
yesterday and found it both amusing and highly relevant:

   "A sane web protocol is not an oxymoron."  cf.  http://http02.cat-v.org/

While the name and some of the content is tongue-in-cheek, the points  
made are quite valid.

An appropriately-defined subset of HTTP plus a standard collection of  
resources and conventions around them can (clearly) stand in for even  
sophisticated "filesystem" implementations and concepts ala 9p.  And  
the much or all of the statefulness of things like 9p (which makes  
them somewhat less than RESTful) can easily be dispensed with ---  
making web space and generic "filesystem" namespace much more  
congruent.  Existence proof, cf. op

	http://lsub.org/ls/export/op.pdf

	http://doc.cat-v.org/plan_9/IWP9/2007/10.op.esoriano.pdf

It should be fairly clear to anyone familiar with both HTTP and 9p  
that a semantics-preserving mapping between them is possible given  
certain assumptions and subsetting / constraints, and that's even  
moreso true for e.g. op...

This all leads me to recapitulate my longstanding but much-contested  
points-of-view:  DAV is horrible and should be avoided at all costs,  
and the Web is a filesystem. The sooner both the filesystem and Web  
communities actually acknowledge those facts and start hashing out the  
consequences productively rather than unnecessarily amplifying the  
differences, the better.

Just a little pot-stirring for the holidays, enjoy!


;-)


jb




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