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From Jeff Dever <>
Subject [httpclient] Is the HttpMethod interface a "Good Thing"?
Date Thu, 05 Sep 2002 19:01:26 GMT
One of the core objects in HttpClient is the HttpMethod interface.  A
base implementation of this interface is provided by the HttpMethodBase
class.  The HTTP methods (such as PostMethod, GetMethod ...) are then
specialized by extending HttpMethodBase.  HttpMethod is used as the
identifier for the generic handling of HTTP methods.

What is the benefit to having an interface and then a base
implemenntation that derived classes are supposed to extend?  Why not
just do away with the interface, and rename HttpMethodBase to be

The current interface + base implementation leads to maintaince
problems, particularly for a library.  For example, if I want to add a
new function to HttpMethod, I have to declare it in the interface, and
then provide a default implementation in the HttpMethodBase class.
Thats all well and good, but for any client that has implemented the
HttpMethod interface directly, their code would break.

But if there was just a base implementation, I would just add the
function once,  (comment it once) and provide a default implementation.
Any derived classes would still work fine, but would have this new
method available with the default implementation from the base class.

I can see a interface being useful if you wanted an object to be to
things at one time (like a Map and a List), but I can't see this being
at all useful in HttpMethod.

I would like to consider removing the interface, and renaming
HttpMethodBase to HttpMethod for the 2.0 release.  This would only
effect users that actually implemented HttpMethod rather than extended
HttpMethodBase.  As there is 2000 lines of rfc2616-implementing-code in
HttpMethodBase, I would think that few (if any) clients would actually
have done this.


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