16.9. Let's REST for a Minute
REST stands for Representational State Transfer and is a style of architecture introduced by a guy named Roy Fielding (one of the main authors of HTTP). You can read about what Roy proposed at www.ics.uci.edu/~fielding/pubs/dissertation/top.htm.
Applications implementing Roy's proposed architecture are sometimes described as RESTful. I don't want to get into a debate about what exactly constitutes a RESTful system (some people who probably need to get out a bit more feel scarily passionate about this), but the important points to note are the following:
Everything is abstracted into a resource that is accessible by a unique address.
REST applications don't maintain state between requests.
These two characteristics ...