On April 27, 2010, I gave two short talks at the Triangle Zope and Python Users Group. A recording and slides from the first talk are now available. The same will be available soon for the second talk.
"We've been pounded with REST for the past ten years, and no one has come up with a standard besides 'HTML' or 'XML', ad nauseum. Do you see any resolution to that coming?"
What I said in response to that question was technically accurate, but I didn't provide any advice. Here's my advice. You want a good default choice that can settle arguments and save you from having to make all the design decisions yourself? There is a standard: AtomPub. Take whatever you're trying to do and make it fit the AtomPub paradigm. Not only will your design be RESTful, your service will fit into a preexisting ecosystem.
If you think AtomPub won't work with what you're trying to do, you're probably wrong. Google, for instance, publishes web services for many very different applications (spreadsheet, calendar, map, etc.), and they're all based on AtomPub. You might find a better fit with your problem space if you did a RESTful design from scratch, but that's the nature of standards.
This document (source) is part of Crummy, the webspace of Leonard Richardson (contact information). It was last modified on Friday, June 25 2010, 22:53:31 Nowhere Standard Time and last built on Wednesday, October 22 2014, 00:00:03 Nowhere Standard Time.