Does REST need WSDL?

Peter Drayton writes that some folks have had “RESTian awakenings” as a result of his presentation, which is just awesome. While reading up on one of his references though, I found this in Alexis Smirnov’s blog which suggests that at least some people still have a ways to go;

After his talk, Peter, Tim and Sam talked about a need to get a WSDL from a SOAP URI.

My response to that is, no, there is no need for WSDL. The fundamental advancement of the Web over previous distributed object systems is that it doesn’t need an interface language because all components expose a uniform interface.

An analogy; if you’re a Java programmer, think of it as working with all your objects after they’ve been downcast to java.lang.Object. Obviously java.lang.Object will only define methods which are common to all objects, so you wouldn’t expect it to have a method such as “buyBook” because not all objects are books. This is what REST’s uniform interface constraint is all about.

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