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Revision as of 22:17, 14 June 2006 by DrErnie (talk | contribs)
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URL Conventions

The Simply Restful plugin for Rails, which will soon become part of Rails Core, has gone with the following scheme:

/people /people/1

We recommend that other implementations follow the same conventions, since that is the first concrete example of such explicitly RESTful URLs in the wild.


There is nothing that says you must organise resources hierarchically, although many people prefer to do so. There are advantages to separating your containment hierarchies from your components. It makes it trivial to add new containers and the containers can accept search parameters.

Example URLs

You could organise your URIs like this:

  • The second widget
  • A form describing how to create a widget
  • The list of the first N (say N=25) widgets
  • The list of the next N widgets starting at 26

Example Actions

Then consider a sequence of hypertext style actions:

  • Retrieve a list of widgets
  • Retrieve details of the second one
  • Replace some of the details
  • Retrieve a form (resource parameter decription)
  • or whatever you want to call it, for creating widgets
  • Create a new widget
<= LOCATION:  //
  • Get the new widget
  • Delete the Widget


This organisation is similar to that of the rest-discuss html interface. But you cannot use PUT, POST and DELETE in that interface.

Using the URI for creating new widgets is similar to the Prototype design pattern while still adhering to the expected behaviour of a POST, ie. create a subordinate resource.

Whatever you do, be sure to tell clients what structure they use, so they don't have to guess (which would violated HTTP rest/opacity.