Reading articles around I have come to notice that certain buzz words that have exact definitions seem to be obscured by those who use those terms inaccurately, usually for a marketing twist. When I say “come to notice” I really mean that they have gotten irritating to me. I can’t say I am perfect at using all words exactly according to their meaning. However, there are a few major buzz words floating around out there that I would like to consider. The two that stick out most to me are Rich Internet Applications (RIA) and Representational State Transfer (REST). Of coarse this isn’t the first time people have missuesed buzz words, or justified missuse through over simplification. Do you remember Ajax? Are you old enough to remember DHTML?
The term REST is one that I misunderstood for a while, and thus used improperly. The mistake I made is trusting where I learned about the term without doing the research myself. I attended several taks about REST and I mistook those speakers for athorities on the subject. Eventyally I came to appreciate that the term was coined in 2000 by Rou Fielding who has a much richer history with the World Wide Web than anyone else who spoke about the subject. I have to thank a mainstay of PHP, Ben Ramsey, for being the REST evangelest that he is and pointing that out. If you are interested in learning more the Febuary edition of php|architect contains a great article “Grokking the REST Architectural Style” that is a great overview of REST.