Things I don’t know about the Web

By | 2003/10/10

And now for something completely different …

I thought it might help my cause for me to admit that I’m only human (yes, I’m not really a know-it-all!), and that there remain things about REST and Web architecture that I don’t understand (including those things that I don’t even understand that I don’t understand 8-). Here’s my current list of things I know I don’t grok.

Can I do PUT with POST RESTfully? I go back and forth on this one all the time. At first glance, the answer seems to be yes; that it should be possible to “submit data” with POST semantics, but using a mandatory extension (ok, so it’s M-POST) to indicate the extended intention of “state replacement”. But when you dig a bit deeper, you wonder if this is equivalent to tunneling; that the extended intention of PUT-via-POST provides visibility into the terminal state of the resource, which seems to be a no-no from a REST POV. I won’t even bother you with the wacked mental model I have of this issue, except to say that it involves residues.

Self-description and namespace mixing If I produce a multi-namespace document, am I automatically importing the entailments of those namespaces? Dan Connolly says yes (at least for RDF Schema), and I disagree with him. But I lack the background in this space to be able to convince Dan (or even myself, for that matter). It’s just a hunch at this point, but the issue has very important consequences, especially to REST which requires self-descriptive messages.

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