WS-* vs the REST

This is probably one of the most debated topics in the industry today. Thanks to Tim Anderson for bringing us the debate from MixO6. I have mixed elements of this debate with a couple of quotes from Jon Udell and Dion Hinchcliffe. The overall feeling seems to be that we need organic growth of usage of light weight web services before the heavyweight standards can be finalized.

Jon Udell

Simple forms of XML messaging were succeeding in the field long before any of these standards emerged.

Tim O'Reilly

Donald Knuth, the famous computer science professor, said that premature optimisation is the root of all evil. He was talking about program performance, but I think that principle applies.

A lot of innovation comes when things are simple enough for people just to try them out and jam against them, if you like, to use a jazz term.

If you look at a lot of innovations in the computer industry, they come when something is simple and the barriers to experimentation are low, and not from big company standards-driven top-down initiatives.

Simple bottom-up stuff is a driver of the future. You need to figure out how to layer more complexity on top of that and add value to it, rather than present this big heavyweight solution that is theoretically better.

Jeff Barr from Amazon:

The trend is towards simplicity and getting applications running quickly. That implies away from SOAP and more toward REST, and even toward more lightweight protocols. There's a new protocol we're looking at called JSON, the Javascript Object Notation.

Given the number of different things that the web services community is asking of developers, I think that's really important, that really easy ramp.

The evolution of the programmable web continues apace, but there’s intense debate over what the internet’s API should look like.

Dion Hinchcliffe in his SOA blog talks about a tolerance continuum.

My personal prediction is that low impedance mechanisms will flourish dramatically in coming years the closer you get to the point of use. Back-end infrastructure will get both radically decentralized but remain essentially as formal and structured as it is today.