Draft minutes of 24 Apr telcon

From: Marc Hadley <Marc.Hadley_at_Sun.COM>
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2007 11:26:18 -0400

Draft minutes are attached below, please send any corrections to the
list. I'll post these on the site once the subversion
repository is working again (grrr).


EG tel-con meeting 24th April 2007 (DRAFT)


        Jan Algermissen
        Bill de Hora
        Larry Cable
        Roy Fielding
        Marc Hadley
        Mark Hansen
        Ryan Heaton
        Dave Hensley
        Julian Reschke
        Paul Sandoz


1. Round table of introductions and primary interests

There was general consensus around the primary interests expressed by
EG members on the need for a high-level API that is simpler than the
Servlet API or the JAX-WS API for the development of RESTful Web
services in Java. Phrases like "make the simple things really simple"
and the "hard things possible" were commonly expressed or concurred

2. Discussion of goals

2.1 POJO-based

General agreement on this goal. It is the 'programming style de jure'.

2.2 HTTP centric.

There was general agreement on the following:

- expose HTTP to the extent it makes sense but not build abstractions
that get in the way.

- HTTP is the 80% and should be well-integrated into the programming

- the runtime should provide support for common cases (like content
negotiation and caching support) but still provide full access to
everything that HTTP provides (sans low-level container-specific
aspects) as we can never be sure what developers will want to do.

- names of annotations/classes/ifaces can be abstract from HTTP but
need to provide clarity and limit conflicts with names commonly used
in other contexts. The relationship to HTTP can be specified in the
Java documentation.

- design for existing HTTP usage (which includes existing protocols
that extend HTTP, such as WebDAV) and not for future protocols that
extend and/or improve on HTTP. It is easier to design for now and
modify in the future.

2.3 Format independence

There was general agreement that this API should not tie itself to
XML. JSON, forms, N3, images, audio and video are other useful formats.

It was expressed that sketch 2 of the API provides a good way to go
in this respect.

2.4 Container independence

General consensus that the API (and hence applications developed
using it) should be independent of container. Portability of API
implementations between containers is felt to be less important.

A question was raised about lack of features in the servlet API, for
example the lack of support for 100 (Continue) responses. We need to
work with the Servlet EG to identify requirements and use-cases
lacking in the servlet API that we require for support as a container.

2.5 Inclusion in Java EE 6

General agreement.

It was expressed that the current thinking is to provide something
similar to that of JSF managed beans.

3. Discussion of non-goals

3.1 Client APIs

General agreement.

3.2 No new HTTP stack.

General agreement.

3.3 Data model/format classes

General agreement.

4. Other goals/non-goals

No other proposed goals/non-goals were presented by EG members.

5. Points of note during the meeting

A question was asked how educational the API should be. The
specification should be terse and, well, spec-like, but the Java
documentation should be helpful and there is scope for good examples
of using the APIs. It was noted that there are one or two EG members
that are authors and that their experience in this area will be most

It was observed that an API cannot be RESTful itself, rather the
applications built using the API can be RESTful. There was general
agreement that the API should lead in a certain direction where
developers would 'naturally' build RESTful applications.

6. Attending Java one.

Larry Cable, Marc Hadley, Dave Hensley and Paul Sandoz will be
attending Java One.

We should meet and have a beer or two and amongst other things
discuss this API.

A session on this JSR will be presented by Marc Hadley and Paul Sandoz:

Session ID: TS-6411
Session Title: JSR 311: The Java API for RESTful Web Services
Track: The Next Generation Web
Room: Esplanade 307-310
Date: 08-MAY-07
Start Time: 18:00

7. EOM.