WS* vs. REST / Intelligence vs. Wisdom
You may have noticed over the years that people can be really smart but foolish; that being smart is much easier than being wise. I'm neither smart nor wise (Just ask my wife) but it never fails to astound me how different these two things are.
Take WS* and REST. WS* is an intelligent engineer's dream come true in many respects: It's sophisticated and modular and has resulted in the transfer of billions of bits of information, the death of millions of trees, and probably the squandering of billions of dollars in IT. REST, on the other hand, is a wise man's solution. It is simple, elegant, and straightforward. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand REST, you just need to change your perspective a little.
With WS* you could spend hundreds, nay thousands, of hours just trying to understand all the specifications and still be less than adept at using them. With REST you might spend 10 or 20 hours grokking the concepts and then become very productive.
WS* is intelligent. REST is wise.
It's good to see more and more people become wise to WS* and turn to REST. I was a WS* supporter 3+ years ago (until I finished writing my Java EE Web services book), but have been searching for something simpler - something that is wise for a couple years now. REST was right in front of me for a long time (I read that dissertation back in the day) but I missed it. It's full implications that were not obvious to me until more recently.
Anne Thomas Manes has received a lot of attention for supporting REST saying that its the "future" of SOA, but in truth the real credit for that change in mind set goes to Pete Lacey. Pete has maintained a constant, and in the end, very convincing dialog about the virtues of REST which have convinced many people that REST is superior to WS*. Anne is on-board the RESTexpress to better IT thanks in no small part to the efforts of one our best consultants, Pete Lacey. Thanks for being wise, Pete.