Via Savas (subscribed!), I’m following
a lot of the discussion regarding the recent Grid/Web-services “unification” specs,
WSRF. Good stuff! These folks are even closer
to having their Web gestalt moment I believe, as they’re now talking about
“stateful resources” (now
have I heard of those before?) in the context of integrating two different systems,
the Grid and Web services. Rock on! I think I’ll sign up to a mailing list or two.
While following those links, I ran across a proposal by Savas and his group
called WS-GAF, a sort of accidental
precursor to parts of WSRF. It mentioned REST;
There have been proposals for naming and uniformly providing access to resources, like the REpresentational State Transfer (REST)  model. However, since REST depends on HTTP it is protocol specific and hence unsuitable for heterogeneous systems like the Grid.
First, I just want to say that I think it’s wonderful that REST was even
mentioned in the context of the Grid. Most folks think it’s still just for
humans and browsers and HTML. Very refreshing. Now for the bad news (come on,
you knew it was coming … 8-). REST does not depend on HTTP at all. It is
an architectural style, and therefore prescribes no specific
implementation, it just describes the constraints that one uses when designing
a RESTful system. You could run out and build one that didn’t use
any existing technology, if you
Savas might be interested in a
of mine to
Web services are not distributed objects paper.
WS-GAF still uses URIs, which is great. Here’s an example of one;
This is wonderful, in a sense. It’s the first time I’ve seen that we’ve narrowed
the whole SOA/REST/Web issue down to an issue of Web architecture, in particular,
(well, you have to squint a little to see why it’s really that issue – it could
have been called the “uriRange” issue, i.e. what can a URI identify?).
So my claim is that WS-GAF would be far better off to identify its resources
using http URIs, for the same
reason that “info” scheme users would.