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From Reinhard Poetz <>
Subject Re: Servlet service request
Date Tue, 04 Dec 2007 00:15:55 GMT
Ralph Goers wrote:
> Reinhard Poetz wrote:
>> Ralph Goers wrote:
>>>  I suppose REST is fine for some trivial applications on the web tier, 
>> I disagree with this statement. REST is an architectural style and I'm 
>> sure, following those principles will help you to build applications 
>> from trivial to very complex.
>> I also think that the mentioned "without sessions your apps don't 
>> scale" argument is bogus. If that was true, HTTP (which is the most 
>> prominent implementation of REST) wouldn't scale.
> We are way off topic here, but we are obviously talking apples and 
> oranges. It isn't possible to build a web application these days without 
> using a browser. That pretty much means you are going to use HTTP. 
> Whether your application uses sessions or not really has nothing to do 
> with that.  In a way that is sort of like saying just because you have 
> electrical wiring in your house you are magically going to get light. 
> That won't happen unless you plug in a lamp with a light bulb in it - or 
> something else that can generate light.  HTTP is the wiring that lets 
> you put all kinds of stuff on top of it.  If you want to call that REST 
> fine, but to me that isn't very meaningful.

You are right, we are building web applications on top of HTTP, independently 
from how we do it exactly, but the interesting question is whether you use it 
the way it was designed based upon the concepts of

* resources,
* their names (URIs),
* their representations,
* the links between them

and its properties

* addressability,
* statelessness,
* connectedness,
* uniform interface.

Or you put something else on top of it to route around its alleged limitations 
and use HTTP only as transport medium. My point is that those "additions" are 
not really necessary anymore and only make your life more difficult without an 
additional benefit.

>>> but many modern web frameworks (i.e. JSF, Spring Webflow, Wicket) 
>>> require that state be maintained on the server simply because they 
>>> have a requirement that pages be accessed in specific orders. 
>> Using sessions for that purpose is just one way to implement it.
>> If you implement a RESTful web tier, your clients (e.g. web browsers) 
>> have to become more powerful. In times of mature Ajax frameworks, Flex 
>> etc. this isn't as much of a problem like a few years ago.
>> It took me a bit longer than Stefano, but in the meantime I also think 
>> that web framworks as we know today have already passed their zenith. 
>> Next generation web frameworks will make it simple to implement your 
>> webapps following REST and I think that Cocoon with its XML pipelines 
>> can shine again.
> Good luck with that.  I certainly won't get in your way, but I just 
> don't believe we'll get there into browsers evolve into something 
> "smarter" than what they are today. We went through great pains removing 
> a ton of Javascript from our web sites because downloading the libraries 
> was cutting response time in half - or even more on dial-up connections.

Have you visited or some of Google's apps recently?

Reinhard Pötz                            Managing Director, {Indoqa} GmbH

Member of the Apache Software Foundation
Apache Cocoon Committer, PMC member, PMC Chair

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