Bad web services API

I’m reading RESTful Web Services Cookbook and on page 17 the author gives this example:

# Request
POST /user/smith HTTP/1.1
Content-Type: application/xml;charset=UTF-8
Slug: Home Address

<address><street>1, Main Street</street><city>Some City</city></address>

# Response
HTTP/1.1 201 Created

There are two problems with this: the first is that “POST /user/smith” has the semantics “register address”, so it would be better if that was clear; the second is that some of the input to the business process is in the XML payload, while some of it is in the HTTP headers (viz Slug). It would be better if all the input was in the payload.

So how would I design this service?

# Request
POST /api/v1/processor HTTP/1.1
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded


# Response
HTTP/1.1 303 See Other

Actually in my designs the /api/v1/processor could be anything, including /user/smith, because the business process is indicated in the request ‘action’ with is submitted with POST. Just like God intended. Idempotency, optimistic concurrency control, authentication, authorisation, auditing, version control, all that good stuff implemented with business logic via business process for ‘register_address’.

Number of Programmers

From here some interesting stats:

  • 6 million PHP programmers
  • According to Linkedin, Facebook currently employs approximately 8850 software developers.
  • At Amazon, there are around 36,000 developers writing code.
  • Apple employs around 20 million developers, and together they have made about $100 billion in revenues.
  • As of now, Netflix employs only 80 software engineers, who build 50 applications.
  • According to the official Google employee report, 27,169 software engineers work at Google (i.e. research & development).