The goal of REST - Roy Fielding

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Anas Tina

Oct 21, 2017, 4:46:13 AM10/21/17
to restinpractice
Hi Mr. Jim,

Could you please explain what Mr. Roy Fielding means by following:

“the goal of my dissertation -- to introduce a way of thinking about software architecture that promotes honest debate about the properties that are desired and actual thought applied to the constraints chosen to achieve them ... almost all of the design behind REST is focused on applications that need to survive for decades of independent evolution.” 

I really found it difficult to understand especially in the bold (promotes honest debate!) .

Thanks Sir!


Josh Graham

Oct 21, 2017, 8:57:43 AM10/21/17
That's Dr Jim to to you.

From the phone
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Jim Webber

Oct 22, 2017, 11:34:53 AM10/22/17
Hi Anas,

In REST in Practice we tried to be faithful to the (beneficial) constraints set out in Fielding’s thesis, especially the hypermedia constraint.

Hypermedia is one of the seemingly most difficult things for folks to understand in computer-to-computer systems, and a lot of debate (honest or not) has been had. Ultimately what I think Roy is getting at with his scales-to-decades idea is that the constraints of REST loosen coupling to the degree where a system should be evolvable over many years.

This was made very clear to me when Stew Gleadow did some work about how to evolve the server side when you don’t have much control over the deployment of the client (e.g. App store latency). His work shows how hypermedia allows N versions of a useful system to co-exist over time. This, in my mind, talks directly to evolution that scales over years.

Does that help?


Jim Webber

Oct 22, 2017, 11:35:23 AM10/22/17
Nah Josh, it’s only Dr Jim to you. I like the small power trip.

Dr. Jim
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