Have you ever picked up a book on the assumption that you were going to need it, only to find out that a) it’s a great book and b) you’re not going to need it? This is just what happened to me with Leonard Richardson and Sam Ruby’s RESTful Web Services.
I really liked Leonard’s Ruby Cookbook (shoot I even did an interview with Leonard about it), so when I was looking at doing some Web Services stuff I leaped at the chance to pick up the book. Sadly, I didn’t end up working on the web services stuff so I lent the book out to some co-workers.
They loved it. It’s been passed from one member of the web services team to another, I even think the team’s manager has spent some time with it. It’s easy to see why they like it:
- Richardson and Ruby write clearly and well
- the book has a ton of examples (a lot of them in Ruby)
- there’s a lot of good advice throughout the text
- the coverage of REST and Ajax is timely and solid
Probably the best thing about the book though, is it’s solid core (Chapters 4-9, and especially 4-6). Chapter 4 describes Resource-Oriented Architectures (ROA) as a model for REST implementations. Chapter 5 is guide to designing a read-only ROA. Chapter 6 is a guide to designing a read-write ROA. I also liked chapter 8 (REST and ROA Best Practices).
If you’re planning on building RESTful web services, this book is a great place to start. Even if you’re not, it’s a pretty good book to learn more about them.