There are a lot of hypermedia document formats in active use. Some are designed for very specialized purposes—the people who use them may not even think of them as hypermedia formats. Other hypermedia formats are in such common usage that people don’t really think about them at all. In this chapter, I’ll take you on an educational tour of a “zoo” containing the most popular and most interesting hypermedia formats.
I won’t be going into a lot of technical detail. Any one of these formats probably isn’t the one you want to use, and I’ve covered many of them earlier in the book. Many of the formats are still under active development, and their details might change. If you’re interested in one of the zoo’s specimens, the next step is to read its formal specification.
My goal is to give you a sense of the many forms hypermedia can take, and to show how many times we’ve tackled the basic problems of representing it. The hypermedia zoo is so full that you probably don’t need to define a brand new media type for your API. You should be able to pick an existing media type and write a profile for it.
I’ve organized the hypermedia zoo along the lines of my introduction to hypermedia. There’s a section for domain-specific formats (a la Chapter 5), a section for formats whose primary purpose is to implement the collection pattern (a la Chapter 6), and a section for general hypermedia formats (a la Chapter 7).
For formats like Collection+JSON, which I’ve already covered ...