REST Not for Humans?

, Mar 29, 2007

Dave Thomas writes (emphasis mine):

Does that mean I’m down on the RESTful, CRUD based approach to application development? Not at all. For some categories of application, I think it’s a great way of structuring your code. But REST isn’t designed for talking to people.

Huh?

That’s definitely the first time I’ve heard this assertion — usually, it’s just the other way around.

There’s nothing unRESTful in returning an HTML “view” representation at http://example.com/employees/1, and a form to edit the same resource at http://example.com/employees/1;edit — provided you view these two things as different resources, and not two representations of the same resource. This is is a somewhat philosophical question. Even more importantly, reducing REST to back-end logic only seems to stress the (pretty broken) CRUD analogy way too much for my taste, which will ultimately lead to misunderstandings.