REST: From Research to Practice

pp 161-195


FOREST: An Interacting Object Web

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FOREST satisfies the need for objects to easily interact across the network in a RESTful way – without calling methods on each other. To do this, it asks you to set your objects up in an Observer Pattern relationship. Or, in particular, a “Functional Observer Pattern”, where an object’s state is set as a Function of its current state plus the state of other objects it Observes through links. This observation occurs through either pull or push of linked object state. Such a programming model maps directly to RESTful distribution over HTTP, using GET for pull and POST for push of object state, in both directions between interacting servers. Objects are published into a global interacting object Web. This distributed object architecture is declarative in nature, and thus very expressive, as well as being naturally concurrent.