Friday, February 18, 2005

Generative Naming

If you can work out how a developer has structured the URI hierarchy of their site, you're well on the way to being able to URl hack it to find the stuff you want locate without having to do much browsing.

If a site is built on Generative Naming principles, and you have a model of those principles (or it is published for all to see) then as a user you can build all sorts of tools that exploit this principled naming convention.

There is a danger here, though, that the URIs are being used to transmit information they shouldn't. For example, the MIME-TYPE of a representation should be used to classify what sort of a representation it is (HTML document, pdf or png file, for example) rather than the document suffix. That is, we allow for the URI to be misleading - which is what generative, semantically useful naming confounds to a certain extent.

But as a shortcut, where the structure of generative URIs maps cleanly onto links and relationships between resources, we have a way of navigating from memory or rule. The Naming Isn't Navigating post considers this point, too.

You may note that both the above links point to pages on the RESTwiki... it's well worth a look, I think....


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