last week Rob Conery posted an invitation on his blog asking people to "...jump in and write me up a [RESTful] API." what followed was some lively discussion in the comment stream on that post and (to date) produced four sample API designs for Rob to consider.
that's pretty cool!
evidence of style
while each solution was different (they each reflect the designer's style), they are all evidence of attempts to provide a hypermedia-style solution to Rob's challenge. one of the things i like about all this is that it offers up tangible examples; not just theoretical discussion. since they are all actual examples, this also makes it possible to ask clear questions about what is shown; what is intended, why it exists, and what the expected results are for designing interfaces in this manner.
so, from my POV, the real value here is not just in the resulting designs, but also in the public process of offering up real attempts at solutions for a real problem.
we need more of this
i think we need to see much more of this, too. the more physical examples we have the more we can learn from each other, the more we can ask informed questions about style choices and, the more we can compare designs to tease out helpful commonalitiesand differences. what we also need (IMO) are running examples; live implementations that we can also inspect, compare, and evauluate. but i'll leave that topic for another blog post.
oh, BTW - thanks Rob!
now how 'bout some more folks offer Rob a sample API?