Mark Baker & REST

, Jan 18, 2008

Mark Baker writes:

The war really has been won, I realize that now. And I’m happy to pat myself on my back for a job well done, despite what it’s cost me. Would I do it over again? No bloody way. I should have just “pulled a Roy” and continued to work with and improve the Web, but restrict my Web services standards work to trying to minimize the harm Web services were doing to the Web (which I was doing, but I went way beyond that).

There’s no question about it in any way — whether you believe “the war has been won” or not, the interest in REST is to a large degree owed to Mark’s continuous and amazingly patient efforts to evangelize it. I, for one, am really, really glad you didn’t “pull a Roy”.

Thanks Mark.

On January 19, 2008 12:10 AM, Jean-Jacques Dubray said:


I am all for congratulating Mark and giving my best getting well wishes. I think there are a lot of individual contributors, like him, that have invested a lot of their careers in Standards when they could have done more profitable activities.

I am a bit concerned by the language that Mark uses, I don’t want to open a debate on it. I think talking about “War”, “Winning” is out place and contribute to the problem at large. The dynamics between standard organization (W3C, OASIS, OMG, OAGIS, UN/CEFACT…) themselves and together with the vendors are so detrimental to the best interest of the end-user and therefore to the best interest of the vendors, that there is no need to add to it. For sure, the W3C should have had nothing to do with Web Services, but in 1999, OASIS was just an emerging standard organization. For sure it was a distraction from the task to build the Web the correct way, but at the end of the day, I don’t see what Mark is talking about in terms of Web Services having impacted the Web, they are clearly two different things, they share solid technologies, but no one is trying to expand the “Web” with Web services or change the architecture of the Web with Web Services.

I would have rather heard Mark talk about “how much progress he help made”, “what a difference his perseverance has made…”. There so many great concepts and technologies that have been “killed” in the “war” that I would think by now, there could be enough individuals that realize that it is far easier and for more beneficial to see how things fit, compare and overlap (FCO) rather than constantly trying to “kill” something else. Killing does take a huge tall on you and your opponent as Mark found out: all this time could be used productively to do some FCO activities. They are a lot more gratifying. At the end of the day these wars are only in the mind of some people (like every war), even though the killings are real.

In Software, like in geopolitic, we can look back at history, and we can see that wars never accomplished anything. Talking about a “good” war or even a “just” war is such an oxymoron. Can we learn anything?

just my 2c.