What Happens When A Good Idea Doesn't Actually Work? post
Being a programmer with Attention Deficit Disorder when it comes to new ideas. I'm always interested in new ideas, technologies and programming languages. So, since I had been doing some work with web services I found the RADAR idea very interesting. I even posted some code snippets and thoughts about it. Then I went and tried to actually implement it. Not so good.
The pages worked fine in Firefox, but IE was complaining all over the place about it. Bad XSLT and other weird errors. Since I had to get the thing fixed in short order, I followed my "just build it, damnit" mantra and ripped out all my code that called the REST service and did it without the web service. Am I disappointed? Hell yes. I was *convinced* this was a good idea. But perhaps the truth of the matter was that I was trying to solve a problem that did not exist, with the lofty goal of "make your application the API" that I've seen espoused in many places.
So what went wrong? I still have no clue. All I can do is go back to what I did and try it again. On the surface it should've worked properly. The problem with what I was doing was that with it spitting back information via XML, debugging things when they've gone wrong is hard. Or maybe it's hard *for me* because I haven't spent much time doing something like this.
That's really the downside to playing with new technologies: if you're not 100% sure how to debug it when it goes wrong, you could end up doing more harm than good. I think REST is still a really good method by which to "make the site your API". I can now spend some time looking at it and seeing if I can't figure out just where I went wrong.