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Extending REST

Mod-pubsub and Mark Baker are pointing to Rohit Khare's dissertation.

Best bits so far - scene setting with analogies to the power and money grids... leases (JXTA and Javaspaces folks take note)... a stunning simile from Jim Gray on memory access... non-bewildering explanation of the hard constraints imposed on processes by latency... fair mutexes for replicated resources (a formalism/extension of WebDAV LOCK)... use of global clocks. So, it's excellent stuff and I'm only up to chapter 7 (consensus, where I suspect it gets really good).

The biggest problem (aside from getting buy-in) in building practical REST solutions on today's web sems to be state management. Yes we know that cookies are bad and CGIs suck, but given the current crop of web clients and the (misguided?) commercial imperatives of site-owners, sometimes it seems inevitable that session state will centralize onto the server. State mangement doesn't seem to be addressed directly by Khare's thesis - its focus is on decentralization and two ways comms. I haven't digested it properly to figure whether the architecture's properties would induce an easier life in the trenches, but I can hope ;)

[coldplay - clocks]

January 18, 2004 02:01 PM


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