Friday, 26 December 2008

Last Week's Work


-I’ve read the 6 chapters of “RESTful Web Services” book
It consumed most of my time thinking I would get my answers from it, but I should have stopped earlier. We were promised that we will understand REST however the authors went on describing what they thought REST should be then admitted in chapter 4 that they will be teaching us what ROA (Resource Oriented Architecture) is and that although ROA is RESTful, they are not claiming that if something doesn’t comply to ROA then it isn’t RESTful.

The example they used was not clear (A map of planets) and in my opinion it takes the readers focus from understanding the concept, into trying to understand what the example means.The other problem is that it didn’t dive into implementation details that I needed, for example:
-I needed to know are query strings allowed in REST? Which was touched vaguely by calling cases that needed them: algorithmic resources.
-Are the http methods: get, put, post, delete, … actions carried out by the http server, without any programming need from the service provider? or are they entry points for services that we need to program to carry out these methods.
-A somewhat related question, what is the structure of the data and services on their server is the data in a database then rendered as existing resources on demand? Or static documents waiting to be requested, I don’t think it is the latter but I still have to find out.
-My comments on the book are kind of a first impression and may change because:

-I haven’t started coding yet.
-I didn’t read the rest of the book, I intend to but just when I get my feet into programming and read what other people have to say about REST.

-What I’ve learned from the book:

It gave me an insight to what REST is, and warned that there are some web services or tutorials out there that claim to be RESTful, when they really are what they called REST-RPC hybrid. And thanks to the authors I will be cautious and critical when I read anything about REST, even their book! That’s why I read chapter 5 (Representational State Transfer) of Fielding’s dissertation. The chapter was simple and abstract (but hey, that is what REST is :) isn’t it)!

Other activities:

-Downloaded and installed xampp (which installs Apache, MySQL and PHP)

-Decided on the service I’ll implement
It is a simple service to create an annotated bibliography. It is a collection of references and comments on them. They can be added, updated and deleted.
-Downloaded and installed MediaWiki, PhpWiki and Semantic Wiki
I wanted to see how the Wikis work because the I like the way the topic URLs look in wikis, so I wanted to understand how they worked, tried to search for information about their implementation,I didn’t find any so the only way was by installing them and observing the database design.
-Downloaded a Bibtex ontology
I wanted to get an idea of the needed entries and how to think of my service in terms of ontologies.
-Started with the DB design.

And more yet to come…

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Hello :)