REST interface constraints

, Feb 22, 2004

Bill de hÓra (one day I’ll find out why I can’t enter his name properly) has an interesting post about the debate kicked off by Russel Beattie:

I take the opposite view to Russ; not having mainstream availability of PUT and DELETE is the singularly most broken aspect of web technology today.

I like REST, and I believe that Russ’s problem is a stupid omission in the J2ME standard, not a fault of the Atom spec. On a purely theoretical side, though, I wonder whether there really is a difference between having a uniform interface that contains just two verbs (GET and POST) and one that contains all four (DELETE and PUT as well). Isn’t the point that the interface is constrained, not that it is constrained to something specific? You can’t avoid a certain amount of overloading, no matter whether you have 2 or 4 or 10 verbs, since there’s more than 2 (or 4 or 10) things you will want to do.