The 80/20 of HTTP

I don’t know about you, but when I think of HTTP in action, I think of GET, POST, 200, 404, and 500. It seems that most of the HTTP work today (the 80%) is done in the context of these verbs and status codes (the 20%).

I just read a couple of Paul Prescod‘s papers: A Web-Centric Approach to State Transition and Reinventing Email using REST. They’re both interesting for many reasons, not least because they show some of the other 80% of HTTP in action.

Of course, some people might point out that the 80/20 ‘imbalance’ will remain so while protocols (mechanisms, encodings?) like SOAP encapsulate much of what HTTP has to offer. Hmm, it’s very difficult to write about REST and SOAP in non-loaded terms :-)

Anyway, if nothing else, in pondering the RESTian philosophy, I’ve been re-acquainted with the other 80% of HTTP, and those things like URIs that are closely linked.