I Am Not A Card Carrying Restafarian I Just Believe In The Web
21 Sep 2017
I am always surprised at the folks who I meet for the first time who automatically assume I’m all about the REST. It is always something that is more telling about the way they see the world (or don’t), than it ever is about me as THE API Evangelist. It is easy to think I’m going to get all RESTY, and start quoting Roy, but I’m no card carrying RESTafarian, like my buddy Darrel Miller (@darrel_miller) (not that is what Darrel does ;-). Really the only thing I get passionate about is making sure we are reusing the web, and I am pretty much be a sellout on almost everything else.
I am just looking to understand how folks are exposing interfaces for their digital resources using the web, making them available for use in other applications. I feel like RESTful approaches are always a good start for folks to begin considering, and learning from when beginning their journey, but I’m rarely going to get all dogmatic about REST. There are trade-offs with any approach you take to providing programmatic interfaces using the web, and you should understand what these are whether your are using REST, Hypermedia, (g)RPC, GraphQL, or any other number of protocols and technologies available out there. A RESTful approach using the web just tends to be the lowest common denominator, the cheapest, and widest reaching solution we have on the table. Rarely is it ever the perfect solution–there are no such things. #sorry
If you are entering into discussions with me thinking I’m 100% team REST, you are mistaken, and you have profiled yourself considerably for me. It shows me that you haven’t done a lot of (wide) reading on the subject of APIs, and while you may be an expert, you probably are a very siloed expert who doesn’t entertain a lot of outside opinions, and keep an eye on how the space is shifting and changing. When I encounter folks like you in the space you’ll often find me pretty quiet, submissive, and just nodding my head a lot. As you aren’t my target audience, and there isn’t much I can say that will shift your world view. Your opinions are pretty set, and I’m not going to be the one who moves them forward. My role is to reach folks are looking for answers, not those who already have them.