Everytime I read an article about REST interfaces, they go into this long diabtribe about what REST isn’t and how it compares to SOAP and XML-RPC. None of them spend any time actually describing what REST. Maybe it’s because it so simple. It’s a URL that returns XML. That’s it.
It’s just like every web page you’ve browsed in your life except the stuff returned is for computers, not humans. Just like regular web pages, parameters on the URL may change the data returned, possibly changing my witty comment in this example.
If the whole point of REST is to simplify things, why can’t people explain it simply?
Probably for the same reason that folks think XML is hard. They walk through book stores and see those mini-telephone books and think that is a reflection of the complexity rather than the publisher just trying to score bigger bucks by killing a bigger tree.
Back in 1965, Fortran IV had something called “namelist I/O”. It looked a lot like xml and had exactly the same purpose.