How did Amazon allow this design out into the wild? Apparently they've already had a private beta period with non-Amazon developers. No one suspected this use of HTTP GET to be a poor choice?
It's 2007. There are all kinds of basic REST reference and getting started materials. Didn't the whole net go through that "Google is pre-caching everything it can GET" episode a couple years ago. That's the episode where the Rails folks learned that GET should not have side effects.
Wow. Hopefully Amazon will POST a fix asap.
IBM published an article recently on using HTTP to access DB2 and IDS. The URLs they provide need improvement, embedding the operation in the URL. This despite that they do seem to be distinguishing between GET and POST. From the information at that site and another bit I could get behind their developerWorks login, it's not clear to me yet whether they allow the use of GET with a URL that includes a destructive operation.
Maybe the RESTful Web Services book will begin to turn these things around. But that Amazon did this in 2007 is a bit of a shock.
Update: Steve Loughran nominates SimpleDB for a new award...
I nominate it for the 2007 Restless awards, in the much contested category ofYeah, maybe there should be annual (or more frequently, on Internet-time, awards for "RESTless" and "RESTful" web services that degrade or enhance, RESTpectfully, the web.
"things that claim to be RESTful but do side effects in their GETs" along with the ever popular "SOAP endpoint in disguise" category
I know this mailing list has not, historically, had such awards, but now is as good a time to start as any.