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From Reinhard Poetz <>
Subject RESTful web applications (was: Servlet service request)
Date Tue, 04 Dec 2007 08:15:40 GMT
Ralph Goers wrote:
> Reinhard Poetz wrote:
>> I was referring to your Javascript argument: "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."
>> Seeing one of the biggest websites enhancing their websites with 
>> Javascript is some kind of a proof to me that Javascript has become a 
>> mainstream technology at the client-side.
> Sorry, I misunderstood.  I wouldn't argue that Javascript is a 
> mainstream technology. We've been using it for years. It is just that we 
> discovered that after the raw development was done on our current 
> project that the download for the first page was approaching 1 MB 
> (uncompressed) because different technologies were downloading different 
> javascript libraries. 

Yes, 1mb is a lot. I've been using Mootools a lot recently and the size of the 
compressed JS file hasn't exceeded 40k so far. Without using the whole offering 
of this JS library, I have to say that it is very powerful and well thought-trough.

> Even on a fast internet connection that made the 
> initial page load unacceptable and on slow ones it was terrible. What I 
> meant was that if a lot of this kind of functionality was distributed 
> with the browser instead of the application it would go a lot further to 
> getting it adopted across the board.
> But again, this doesn't necessarily have a lot to do with REST.

Only indirectly. The main problem is that webforms 2.0, which supports a RESTful 
communication, is at an early draft stage and it will take years until it will 
be implemented by all mainstream browsers.  You can only work-around this 
problem by providing a Javascript layer that implements a RESTful communication 
layer and simulates webforms (or something that follows its ideas). Relying on 
JS has been a no-no for years but as I pointed out before, things have changed 
(at least in my perception).

I've started to work on a Cocoon 2.2 "rest block" containing a RESTful 
controller implementation and a RESTful forms framework but it will take me a 
months or two before I can share it with a public community. If there is some 
interst in this work, pls drop me a note. Maybe I can push it up on my priority 
list a bit.

> There 
> are plenty of JSF applications doing cool stuff with Javascript.

Sure. And that's the point that made me think why we need stateful web 
frameworks at all because I've seen so many web applications (JSF, Wicket, etc.) 
that wouldn't work without Javascript.

Reinhard Pötz                            Managing Director, {Indoqa} GmbH

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

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