Roy Fielding Presentation: A Little REST and Relaxation

, Sep 17, 2007

As Mark points out in comments, Roy Fielding’s presentation is available online on

On September 22, 2007 3:02 PM, Jean-Jacques Dubray said:


I watched this presentation and felt a bit disappointed. Granted that it was kind of short and this is the first time I saw Roy. I felt that his attempt to bring “peer-to-peer” in the web architecture via “relaxation” was a bit too relax.

He could have admitted that he blew it. He did not see peer-to-peer coming and it had designed an architecture style that had browsers and web servers in mind.

It’s easy to criticize IBM or Microsoft for the “null” architecture style of SOA or the “clunkyness” of SOAP and the like, but IMHO the debate is long closed. Both styles are useful, and people should focus on when to use them best. Representational State Transfer is a profound concept and as he pointed out there are probably few that use it correctly (not me) to represent application state.

The only point I found worthwhile was his point about “services” being what ever you want. He said in the REST architecture style, resources are well defined by their interface (URI + verbs), but services… My first response that it is easier to define a “thing” versus something that “does something”. But this is an interesting challenge.