Alex Barnett blog


Video demo: REST Describe & Compile for WADL

In March 2007, I naively asked if REST needs a WSDL and if yes, was WADL the one (Web Application Description Language). The conversation goes on, but I thought the video below and pointers might be of interest to those who have an opinion one way or the other.

The video Google Chalk Talk was published last week and shows Thomas Steiner demoing REST Describe & Compile, an online editor and a compiler for REST Web services based on SUN engineer Marc Hadley's Web Application Description Language (WADL).

(huh? video not available as embeded??? wtf? Here's the link to it)


REST Describe & Compile is an editor and a compiler for REST Web services based on SUN engineer Marc Hadley's Web Application Description Language (WADL). REST Describe & Compile is implemented using the Google Web Toolkit (GWT) and is split up in two sub-apps:

REST Describe:
This component takes a (set of) URL(s) as input and tries to analyze the parameters regarding parameter types and Web service structure. It then generates a WADL representation for the given URL(s), represented in an editable, tree-like form. Typical input would be GET

or GET{userID}/albumid/{albumID}/photoid/{photoID}?kind=kinds=0=10

REST Compile:
This component allows for the WADL representation of a Web service to be "compiled" to working programming code in various languages (for the moment these languages are Java, PHP5, Python, and Ruby). The idea is thus similar to WSDL2Java, however in a more general WADL2Anything way.

The application can be tested online:

There are some screencasts available on YouTube:

Speaker: Thomas Steiner
Thomas Steiner works as a Customer Solutions Engineer from Barcelona, Spain, and has joined Google full-time only since October 1st. However, he has been with Google first as an intern and then as a temorary contractor since February 2005. During his time at Google, Thomas has created the Google APIlity PHP Library for the AdWords API, as well as the APIlity Agua Ajax application, which can be seen as an Ajax GUI for AdWords. From January 2007 till July 2007, Thomas did his Final Year Project with Google, where the REST Describe & Compile application was to be developed, hosted by Googler Patrick Chanezon."

Related, last week Assaf (a true web pragmatist) wrote in his post REST IDL, substance over style

"So far most of the suggestions I saw are turf wars in disguise, arguing for this syntax or that, but never for what it should describe. WADL so far looks like one of those best-for-my-platform choices, the constant mentioning of Microformats, which are not optimized for this task, is another danger sign.

It has to start somehow, but it better start with substance, not with style."

I agree with the last statement...

Now, I don't know if Assaf has seen the above video or not, and if not, whether the video would further sway him one way on WADL or not...anyone else have thoughts on what's in the video or tool demo'd, or WADL itself?


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This Week's Semantic Web by Danny Ayers...

# January 28, 2008 7:55 PM