JavaOne: JSR 311: RESTful Web Services

by Tim O'Brien

Marc Hadley, Paul Sandoz, and Roderico Cruz gave a presentation on Sun's JSR 311 initiative (JAX-RS). Despite my habit of ignoring every technology that has an acronym starting with JAX, I attended to see if this was anything to pay attention to. First off, I thought that Paul and Marc gave a great presentation, the API is interesting, but it does look like it needs to polishing - the Expert Committee was formed only six weeks ago. Quick summary is that the API drops reliance on an API in favor of using annotations to define the URI patterns and parameter bindings for a REST service.

The demo was painful. First it was all focused on NetBeans and, second, it was a dreadfully conceived application. All I can remember are the phrases "right-click in NetBeans" and "have NetBeans generate a Google Map Resource". It didn't help that before the demo either Marc or Paul set it up as a demo that would rival the initial setup and ease of Ruby on Rails (it didn't). Instead it was a lot of GUI clicking to produce something that was more of a distraction to the REST API being discussed.

Strange questions about whether or not the REST API would support attachments or if there was a way to have a transaction span multiple requests. More people need to read Roy Fielding's thesis. Even after sitting through the presentation, I think that people still didn't get the whole REST != SOAP idea.


2007-05-09 06:45:57
The people that asked about attachments and transactions spanning multiple requests were either representatives of big vendors or people brainwashed by them.
Tim O'Brien
2007-05-09 07:11:17
@cynic, maybe you are right. The sense I get is that there are a lot of people interested in REST simply because it is a buzzword, also there are a lot of people interested in REST as an alternative to SOAP,but they might not be aware that the two are almost enitrely unrelated to each other.
2007-05-09 07:59:19
Yikes! Another JAX-??? spec, for REST. REST has been going along fine without a specification...just disapointing, I almost want to fly to California and take Sun engineers on a field trip to help then see what's going on outside. Most of REST is HTTP, and taking advantage of HTTP's existing features (PUT...DELETE), and if I'm not mistaken, a multipart post is essentially an attachment, that's how we all upload photos to flickr, and it seems to work fine. The annotations stuff is already available in Stripes, there's no need for a spec here. move along.