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The X-rated SocialSite API

Roy Fielding: I am getting frustrated by the number of people calling any HTTP-based interface a REST API. Today's example is the SocialSite REST API. That is RPC. It screams RPC. There is so much coupling on display that it should be given an X rating.

Ouch! As the author of the torrid (and pretty rough) Project SocialSite Proposal: Finalize Web Services APIs proposal that Roy calls out to sharply, I'd like to point of that, as I explained in a recent post, Project SocialSite is simply implementing and extending the OpenSocial API. OpenSocial includes both a JSON-RPC API and a REST API. SocialSite implements and extends them both. I never meant to imply that the JSON-RPC API is RESTful (and neither did the authors of the OpenSocial specifications). In fact, I renamed the proposal from "Finalize REST APIs" to "Finalize Web Services APIs" after I realized that OpenSocial would come in both flavors.

The proposal that I wrote outlined a way for Project SocialSite to hook into Apache Shindig (incubating), the Reference Implementation of OpenSocial,implement a couple of Shindig interfaces and thus gain support for both the OpenSocial REST API and the OpenSocial JSON-RPC API. The OpenSocial REST API does claim to be RESTful and I believe it is; it's based on AtomPub but includes some extensions for providing generic XML and JSON representations in addition to Atom format. The Project SocialSite REST API will extend that and will also be RESTful.


I'm confused. If the guy that came up with the definition of REST says it isn't RESTful, it seems weird for you to claim that it is.

Posted by Dare Obasanjo on October 20, 2008 at 02:34 PM EDT #


you are correct. In his most recent comment, Roy writes specifically that that the OpenSocial REST API is not RESTful and gives specifics. Since our REST API is simply extending that API then we are also not truly RESTful.

- Dave

Posted by Dave Johnson on October 20, 2008 at 03:36 PM EDT #

I started a thread in the OpenSocial spec group to discuss this.

Posted by Dave Johnson on October 21, 2008 at 01:15 PM EDT #

With al due respect, the REST inventor seems to have some issues communicating [0] with people ( and the same goes with communicating what REST *is* and what *is not* ):

For example see [0].



From: Ian Hickson 
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 10:10:41 +0000 To: "Roy T. Fielding" 


On Mon, 17 Nov 2008, Roy T. Fielding wrote:
>You aren't listening to the objections.

I'm trying, but you're not making it easy. For example, in this e-mail 
alone you have referred to parts of HTML5 as "crap", "nonsense", and have 
said that these features receive nothing but "abject laughter" and 
"disdain" and that they "trash" previous HTML work. You have not made a 
single constructive statement in this entire thread as far as I can tell.


Posted by Marcelo KTobias on February 01, 2011 at 09:02 PM EST #

Roy Fielding's post is a dictatorial rant showing himself to be petty and egotistical. REST is a great idea, but he should not at all be surprised that many would prefer to cherry pick on his enshrined constraints than wade through pedantic white papers.

There are a lot of broken manuals out there, by his own admission, and he's going to have to accept that his academic dissertation has turned into a buzz word. Just call your API Rest-like, and ignore Fielding.

Posted by Nicholas on April 26, 2012 at 12:45 PM EDT #

I agree Roy Fielding seems to need to work on his communication ( people ) skills

Posted by chris brooksbank on December 11, 2012 at 01:04 PM EST #

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