Knuth on reusable code

Today via Lobsters: APL Style: Patterns/Anti-patterns:

I also must confess to a strong bias against the fashion for
reusable code. To me, “re-editable code” is much, much better
than an untouchable black box or toolkit. I could go on and on
about this. If you’re totally convinced that reusable code is
wonderful, I probably won’t be able to sway you anyway, but
you’ll never convince me that reusable code isn’t mostly a
menace.

— Donald Knuth, Interview with Andrew Binstock

“REST” interfaces

I just wanted to get something that I’ve thought for many years on record, because I don’t think I’ve ever had the chance to discuss it much before, but I believe JSON web services (“REST APIs”) and web applications should deal only in two HTTP verbs, being: GET and POST. You use GET for queries and you use POST for submissions. All POST operations go through business logic for particular services and CRUDing URLs is a supremely bad idea, in my opinion. Just wanted to get that on record. Thanks. p.s for web applications you should 3xx on success, not 2xx on success; what you do for JSON web services is up to you, but for those 2xx is probably fine.

Best practices for REST API design

Over on the StackOverflow blog: Best practices for REST API design. Some of it is good but I disagree with a bunch of things. I made some notes:

* Use singular

https://www.example.com/comment/list

Not:

https://www.example.com/comments


* Use multidimensional selectors, not path/hierarchical selectors:

https://www.example.com/comment/list?artist=nirvana&album=nevermind

Not:

https://www.example.com/album/nirvana/nevermind/comments


* Use noun/verb format:

https://www.example.com/comment/list
https://www.example.com/comment/register
https://www.example.com/comment/edit/54688
https://www.example.com/comment/view/54688
https://www.example.com/comment/reply/54688


* The [ noun, verb ] pairs map to Facilities for implementation:

[ comment, list ] => CommentLister
[ comment, edit ] => CommentEditor
[ comment, view ] => CommentViewer

Facilities have submit/render functionality and round-trip view state.


* HTTP success 30x's not 2xx's.


* Include a 'submission ID' on <form> elements for idempotent operations


* GET and POST only, don't CRUD URLs, rather invoke business processes