More on Java API for RESTful Web Services

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Tim Bray responds to Elliotte Rusty Harold’s negative comments in this post:

Hey Elliotte, I guess making friends and influencing people is for losers, right? The proof of the pudding, obviously, is in the eating, but the fact that this discussion is happening has to be a good thing.

Marc Hadley responds with some clarifications of what they are trying to do, and some sample code to show what they have in mind.

HTTP is the target of this API, we went back and forth a bit on the name and in the end decided to use RESTful in there to highlight that it will focus on RESTful use of HTTP. It doesn’t mean we plan to develop an abstract REST API with a binding to HTTP.

The sample doesn’t look to bad; at least it looks better than the existing APIs. However I see some issues that I hope will be addressed:

  • The sample seems to assume that the message contents will be passed as strings. This would be fine for short messages but would probably be very inefficient for long messages.
  • MIME attachements would also need to be supported.

ERH asks

why is this being proposed for Java Standard Edition at all? The proposal seems to depend on JAX-WS and the Java Servlet API, neither of which is included in the Java 6 Standard Edition. Will these packages have to be added to Java SE just to support this?

That’s a good point. Obviously there needs to be two packages:

  1. A client-side API that belongs in Java SE
  2. A server-side API that should be part of Jave EE or installable separately

Does that require two separate JSRs?