Jens Alfke, “commenting on the new Rdio API”:http://jens.mooseyard.com/2011/03/dudes-this-is-so-not-rest/:
“Maybe we should just give up on the term REST, since it’s become so diluted as to mean nothing more than ‘HTTP API that’s not as hard to use as SOAP’?”
Sounds right. “Pure REST”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Representational_State_Transfer was never strictly followed, and the advantage to consistent HTTP methods — being able to abstract parts of the client details away, as with “ActiveResource”:http://api.rubyonrails.org/classes/ActiveResource/Base.html — don’t seem like significant savings to me. Now that XML-RPC and SOAP are mostly dead, we assume that new APIs are going to be usable from any language without much effort. I won’t object to having one less acronym in the world.
I attended “RailsConf”:http://www.railsconf.org/ in Chicago last month. There’s a lot of excitement in the Rails community right now, and it was nice to be there for the first year before it explodes to the even bigger event that the conference will be next year when O’Reilly takes over.
The talks were a mix of great to just okay. “Damon Clinkscales”:http://www.damonclinkscales.com/ provided a solid introduction to migrations, and even though he had previewed the talk for me the night before I still picked up some useful tips. I was finally able to hear first hand what a fantastic speaker “Mike Clark”:http://www.clarkware.com/cgi/blosxom is. James Duncan Davidson rounded out the weekend with a high-level “vision for deployments”:http://duncandavidson.com/essay/2006/06/webaspipe/. I also enjoyed presentations by “Paul Graham”:http://www.paulgraham.com/marginal.html, the music and brilliance of “Why”:http://redhanded.hobix.com/, the closing Rails core team panel, and of course “DHH on REST and embracing CRUD”:http://www.loudthinking.com/arc/000593.html. One of the nice things about open source is that soon after announcing the new ActiveResource framework, David checked in his code so you can immediately see “what he has been working on”:http://dev.rubyonrails.org/svn/rails/trunk/activeresource/ and play along.
As I look back on the schedule, there were many talks I missed completely, so I’m looking forward to catching the audio or video of some of those. Still, you could get a lot out of the conference just by talking to people between or during sessions.
While at the Austin airport, I filled a sketchbook page with random people waiting for the delayed flight. This man on the right was leaning against an abandoned ticket counter.