XTech Talk, Slides and Overview

I’ve uploaded the slides (Powerpoint) from my XTech 2005 talk: Connecting Social Content Services using FOAF, RDF and REST.
In the presentation I basically gave an overview of the paper, touching on some areas where I thought further work was needed and attempted to do a little RDF advocacy, but coming from a slightly different direction than normal.

Overall, my goal is to move the debate and discussion concerning REST web services beyond comparisons with the SOAP+WSDL stack and instead focus on best practice issues; ideally I want to help foster a “community of practice” around this area. A review of existing services seemed a good way to go about this, but what I didn’t want to focus on (too much) was disregarding services because they’re not fully fledged REST services: even “accidentally RESTful” services have characteristics that are worth reviewing.
On the RDF advocacy front I wanted to diverge from the usual semantic web sales pitch, and instead try to demonstrate how adopting RDF as a uniform data model is a natural extension of the REST uniform interface. My thought experiment was to consider several stages of “refactoring” a service and consider the benefits that RDF brings. In short I think the emphasis can shift from API mechanics towards a focus on the data. Whether I was successful or not remains to be seen. If you were at the talk, or just read through the paper and slides, I’d love to hear your comments, so please drop me an email.
One area I did touch on in the talk is the growing use of API keys in RESTful service interfaces. This concerns me a great deal as it greatly impedes ad hoc service integration by limiting the ability to freely publish links to data. The slides includes a proposal on handling this better (i.e. using HTTP headers) which I will write more about at a later date.