When talking or writing about my research, I typically use the term web APIs and avoid the term REST APIs. The reason is that many APIs to not fully comply with the constraints required by the REST architectural style - specifically, most do not use hypermedia as the engine of application state (HATEOAS), which is one of REST’s sub constraint regarding a uniform interface (read REST’s creator Roy Fielding emphasizing this constraint). In the last two years researching APIs, I did, honestly though, barely think about hypermedia. My visit at the WS-REST workshop this summer as part of the ICWE conference changed that. I met researchers advocating the advantages of hypermedia, leading to some interesting discussions. Since the workshop, I took some time to reflect on the topic and read up different opinions. This post is a summary of my current thinking on the matter.
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