I keep on reading things like the following quote from wikipedia’s talk page on the ReST article (a poorly written page at that):
Decide on an unambiguous definition of REST. IMHO, Fielding lost and the engineers won. REST = XML over HTTP
Rather than point out the sheer stupidity of such a statement, let me tell you the story of the ice-cream maker.
Once upon a time, in the age of fairies and leprechauns, an ice-cream maker named Roy Fielding discovered a seed that people have been using in a remote land, called cacao. Keen on using that discovery, he mixed those seeds with sugar, milk, eggs, cream and sugar and got the inhabitants of his village to try it.
Everybody was excited about this new ice-cream. They all knew the ingredients of course, and some of them were using it, but the mixing of all of them in one ice-cream was somewhat a revelation for many. Villagers became very fond of that new ice-cream, and Roy decided to call it chocolate ice-cream. For a long time, many people in Roy’s village consumed chocolate ice-cream, and all was good in the world. That village was named Web and declared chocolate ice-cream it’s local speciality.
One day, a traveller from the village of Soap, that everybody was calling mister Sainsbury, came to the village of Web and saw how much people liked that chocolate ice-cream. You see, in the Soap village, the local dish was made of soap, and people didn’t like soap very much. He decided to bring back the idea in his own village.
Sainsbury tried to reproduce an ice-cream people would like, and put milk, eggs and sugar, but because he didn’t know about cacao, he decided to use vanilla POD instead. And he got his fellow villagers to try the ice-cream, and they all liked the ice-cream very much, all all was good in the world. And it was named chocolate ice-cream.
Mister Sainsbury knew that the rest of the country was still eating soap, and decided, as a good business man he was, that they should all enjoy his chocolate ice-cream. And as mister Sainsbury got so rich from selling soap before, he started promoting his new chocolate ice-cream in the whole country, and soon all were excited about eating chocolate ice-cream made of vanilla.
One day, an engineer from the village of Wikipedia came to Web and asked for the national desert, the chocolate ice-cream. The villagers happily provided him with a wonderful cocoa-based chocolate ice-cream. When the engineer started eating it, he started screaming:
Engineer - This is not chocolate ice-cream! It’s not even the right colour! Do you think I’m a fool?
Roy – This is chocolate ice-cream. It has cacao in it, as it always had.
Engineer – No no no! Chocolate ice-cream is made of vanilla! Everybody knows that!
Roy – No, it’s made of chocolate, if you put vanilla in it it’s vanilla ice-cream, because there’s no chocolate in it?
Engineer – You’re just an extremist, you’re trying to confuse us!
Roy – …
And that’s when the villagers of Web decided that it was time for them to travel the country, and explain to people the advantages of putting cacao in their chocolate ice-creams.
I’m a villager of Web, and my mission is to re-educate the masses: ReST is *not* made of POD (Plain Old Data). It has a clear definition. It is time to get the industry back on track.