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These are some examples of how people are currently implementing REST web services (usually in XML), to provide some context for how best to implement them in XHTML.

The Problem

Quoting the wikipedia REST article:

In general, however, REST for data does not yet have a generally-accepted, standard format corresponding to HTML for documents, so each REST client must be custom-written to deal with XML at a fairly low level, and crawling XML data over REST is difficult (since it is not always easy to identify links). Proposals for a standard, generic format for use with REST based systems have included RDF, XTM, Atom, RSS (in its various flavors), and Plain Old XML (POX) with XLink to handle links

In short, there isn't a clean design pattern for the optimal way to encode and use REST, which is precisely the sort of thing a microformats approach can provide.


Real-World Examples

Links to public web pages, either popular or insightful

ATOM Publishing

Currently the best use of REST in a standard protocol. They're even discussing using XOXO!

Amazon E-Commerce

Not a very good example, as they only have a single URI for the "REST" API, and do everything with url-encoding.

Delicious API

Their so-called REST API is not, really. Here's a good critique which includes a more RESTful representation:

Rails and MOFO

Web Services via JSON and Microformats

Existing Practices

  • Summary of common patterns discovered
  • Other attempts to solve The Problem


  • Early drafts
  • Link to related pages as they become available

See Also

  • Normative references for tags used