Blogger: Anne Thomas Manes
I tuned into Burley Kawasaki's analyst briefing on .NET 4.0 and Project "Dublin" on Wednesday from the airport in Amsterdam (returning home from the SOA Symposium conference). I didn't get a chance to watch the Live Meeting presentation because I was standing in a security line, but for the most part I was able to pay attention to the discussion. I hope to get a more in depth F2F presentation next Wednesday, so stay tuned for more information.
I'm anxious to get my hands on the new WCF REST Starter Kit, which will be distributed at the PDC later this month. But I was a little concerned by a couple of comments Burley made regarding REST and this new toolkit. He indicated that developers would be able to create services and expose them either through WS-* or REST without any need to change the application design. He also indicated that developers would typically select WS-* for more "robust" application requirements and REST for more lightweight (i.e., less robust) application requirements.
These comments make me seriously question whether Microsoft really understands REST. It sounds to me that WCF 4.0 will adopt the same "RPC-based POX over HTTP" model used by many Java-based toolkits that supposedly support REST. They basically take an object's methods and map them directly to URLs with query strings, and you wind up with URLs that look something like:
I know that folks like Don Box really get REST, so I was really hoping that Microsoft would design a great RESTful toolkit that helps developers design applications that really exploit hypermedia as the engine of state and develop a good resource model that could then be mapped to their method-oriented object models. But based on this quick introduction, I'm preparing for disappointment.
See my previous blog entry on the Tao of REST for more background on what makes an application RESTful.