Re: Welcome to JSR 311

From: Roy T. Fielding <>
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2007 13:17:19 -0700

On Apr 11, 2007, at 4:30 AM, Dhanji R. Prasanna wrote:
> Paul/Marc: Out of curiosity, what exactly was ASF's objection? The
> comment seemed to indicate they didnt want jsr311 to be perceived
> as THE rest framework.
> Does this mean they expect other standards/frameworks around rest
> web services? Or that they feel rest is broader than just web
> services (in which case could we do something like:

It was my objection to the use of the name that I created in a way
that would imply Sun's ownership of the style for the entire Java
platform. My opinion is that there is very little chance that this
JSR will produce something that is even compatible with a subset
of the REST architectural style, let alone the entire system concept
described by that style. While some people may find it convenient
to associate this proposed API with a popular meme, doing so would
be decidedly inconvenient for folks like me who already have
REST-based implementations in multiple languages and multiple APIs.

I find it interesting that anyone would think that annotations on
object methods associated with POJOs would have anything whatsoever
to do with REST. REST is all about data flows, mapping identifiers
to representations, managing that mapping over time (resources),
and expressing relationships between resources (links and metadata).
If this annotated object API were called *the* REST API, that would
seriously piss me off. If it is called something else, such that
I can reasonably have a conversation about my dissertation without
having a bunch of newbies think I was talking about this API, then
I don't have any problem with people experimenting with a new form
of application deployment mechanism like this one. I may even
learn something from it, or perhaps combine it with some of the
more flexible APIs (such as JCR or OSGi) to build the server-side
of a system that could be RESTful as a whole.

REST is an architectural style for network-based applications, not
an API for server-based frameworks. It is therefore unreasonable
to assign the name REST to any single group's server framework,
no matter how well intentioned or capable that group may be.