Last modified 15:36, 20 Nov 2008

Here is a list of things that need to be written up.  If you are experienced in any of these topics, please contribute to this wiki about it.  Some topics have stubs with some notes (linked pages):

  • User Agents: there are many kinds of user agents with varying capabilities; some can only do GET/POST, others might be able to only do GET; some might be able to handle many mime types, while others are limited to a specific one; understanding that user agents can vary -- and may or may not be browsers -- is critical.
  • HTTP Fundamentals
    • HTTP Headers: a good grasp HTTP headers and their impact in practice is going to be useful as well
    • HTTP Status Codes: this is another piece of fundamentals that is need
  • Hypermedia types: HTML for browsers, AtomPub for webservices (maybe?)
  • RFCs
  • Add information about product specific extension
  • Introduction
    • What its all about
    • HTTP, little background
    • Why WOA
    • Alternatives, when to use
  • HTTP
    • Common sense view, applicability, interpretations
    • When to use the verbs
  • Terminology
    • Roys terms mapped to application
  • Managing state
    • Possiby via simple examples?
  • Representations.
    • Alt media from a single resource, media types etc.
  • Frameworks.
    • ???
  • Examples.
    • Many, simple examples with discussion.
    • shopping basket
    • discussion forum
    • user management
    • registration
    • purchasing items
    • openid

Authentication and User State

  • How to authenticate users.
  • Keeping user state.
  • Misconceptions about state.
    • using cookies from COD
    • attaching state to authentication
  • stateless authentication
  • authenticated pages and caching
    • case study: jyte
      • openid authentication across much of the site
      • but nickname to openid lookup not "protected"
      • immediate API benefit

User Agents

In a browser-centric world (unless you are plumbing in a subsystem using AJAX) you face the following restrictions:

  • Only GET / POST are available.
  • You are at the mercy of what the host browser decides is / is not cacheable and how that gets tested with the If-* conditional headers.
  • The POST Content-Type is almost always application/x-www-form-urlencoded for user-driven input
  • The response Content-Type is either application/xhtml+xml (which IE doesn't support anyway) or, most often, text/html (due to IE)


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