Djangocon 2011 Day Two

I enjoyed some brief time traveling when Jacob showed what Django looked like in 2005 or so. It has come a long way.


I attended two talks on APIs today: Isaac Kelly’s talk on Tastypie and Tareque Hossain’s talk on the Promises & Lies in REST. Tareque’s talk involved PBS’ use of Piston and the changes that they had to make (presumably because the core has not been updated). It seems like a number of new projects in the Django/REST space have cropped up (on top of Tastypie) such as Django REST framework and dj-webmachine. At last year’s Djangocon, Eric Holscher (I think) mentioned that it seemed like there was agreement on Piston for Django REST interfaces and now the REST community is fragmenting a little and using a variety of different tools and methodologies.

Tareque recommended a number of methodologies in his talk that I would say are not very RESTful such as including the status code in the data (as opposed to just using the HTTP status code), putting the API version in the URL (a good idea but maybe that should be in the header) or putting the desired output format in the URL (.xml, .json, etc) as opposed to in the HTTP header. Perhaps thinking about “not very RESTful” though is not the right way to think about it. In his talk, Isaac said that “Restish is enough” and maybe that is the answer. If you’re doing most of the RESTful things, you’re Doing Things Right. On the other hand, once you say “Restish is enough” you’re basically admitting that everybody does REST differently and that divergence in REST interfaces is going to continue for at least the foreseeable future.