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You connected to the server, gave it the path to a document, and then the server sent you the contents of that document. It looked like a featureless rip-off of more sophisticated file transfer protocols like FTP. With tongue only slightly in cheek we can say that HTTP is uniquely well suited to distributed Internet applications because it has no features to speak of. In a twist straight out of a kung-fu movie,: the two basic design decisions that made HTTP an improvement on its rivals, and that keep it scalable up to today’s mega-sites.
Many of the features lacking in HTTP 0.9 have since turned out to be unnecessary or counterproductive. Most of the rest were implemented in the 1.0 and 1.1 revisions of the protocol.
The other two technologies essential to the success of the Web, URIs and HTML (and, later, XML), are also simple in important senses.
Obviously, these “simple” technologies are powerful enough to give us the Web and the applications we use on it.
We also show you the view from the client side: how you can write programs to consume RESTful services.
There are a number of protocols and standards, mostly built on top of HTTP, designed for building Web Services (note the capitalization).It’s time to put the “web” back into “web services.”The features that make a web site easy for a web surfer to use also make a web service API easy for a programmer to use.To find the principles underlying the design of these services, we can just translate the principles for human-readable web sites into terms that make sense when the surfers are computer programs. Our goal throughout is to show the power (and, where appropriate, the limitations) of the basic web technologies: the HTTP application protocol, the URI naming standard, and the XML markup language.We cut through the confusion and guesswork, replacing folklore and implicit knowledge with concrete advice.We introduce the Resource-Oriented Architecture (ROA), a commonsense set of rules for designing RESTful web services.