Monday, July 11, 2005

Objectifying the Web

REST versus Object-Orientation (and a little python) "From my perspective, the concepts of Object Orientation (OO) and REST are comparable. They both seek to identify "things" that correspond to something you can about and interact with as a unit. In OO we call it an object. In REST we call it a resource. Both OO and REST allow some form of abstraction. You can replace one object with another of the same class or of the same type without changing how client code interacts with the object. The type is a common abstraction that represents any suitable object equally well."

REST and Object Orientation via OWL "So the most important aspect of RESTful programming as Benjamin points out is that now all objects are universally nameable and universally accessible. A few simple verbs allow us to create, delete and change the state of these resources. Access Control Lists allow fine tuning of responsibilities for a resource. And OWL gives us the Object Oriented conceptual structure to predict and understand the content of these resources and how they relate to others."

People seem to forget that method calls in Java or whatever can be considered message passing. What could be more OO than REST? GET isn't analogous to "getFoo" or "getBar" on a JavaBean object. The semantics behind GET/POST/PUT/DELETE is better thought of as how you are changing the object (related to Create Retrieve Update Delete (CRUD)). What could be more RESTful than OO?

The Dining Philosophers in REST "'s trivial to encapsulate transactions into a single atomic exchange, and exposing those encapsulations as first class entities is generally a pretty good idea. And it certainly fits with the REST model of the world. MUCH more so, in fact, than RPC, as it forces one to aggregate those operations in the server design rather than leaving it open to the client to abuse. In fact, I'd even say that doing so is critical to the ability to build workable distributed systems."

Also related "Using RDF to improve Object-First Development".
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