Monthly Archives: March 2005


My old friend Steve chimes in with a thought that seems aimed in my general direction, and therefore seems to reflect a misunderstanding of my position;

I don’t know of many (any?) pure systems that have significantly succeeded in the real world. If you’re taking a purity approach in this “SOAP vs. REST” debate, and you’ve convinced yourself that you absolutely and for sure know the right answer, regardless of which side you’re on, then you’re either much, much smarter than the rest of us, which is pretty unlikely, or you’re just choosing to ignore important parts of the big picture that don’t fit with your vision of purity. Either way, you’re not really helping yourself or anyone else.

Yes, agreed, purity should not be one’s principle goal. But it’s not my objective in promoting REST to require that everbody must always follow it. That would be quite silly. No, my objective is to encourage it be adopted as the defacto guide that one uses when setting out to build Internet scale, document oriented, services. Then, even if some constraints need relaxing because to not do so would prevent a requirement of the project from being met, you at least know what it’s costing you in terms of properties.

It’s that emphasized bit above that is my main concern. For whatever reason, SOA/WS proponents feel that, in trying to leverage Web infrastructure, they need to disregard the (arguably) single most important constraint of REST (the uniform interface) as a matter of course, rather than with any specific justification regarding the requirements of their project, just with – apparently – the general belief that you need service specific interfaces because DCOM and CORBA used them.

Update; Steve contacted me to say that his comments weren’t directed at me, which I suspected. But because of the ambiguous targetting of his message, I just wanted to set the record straight for anybody who thought he might have been talking about me.