Jeff Barr in the news...

Mr. FoRK fork_list at
Thu Apr 24 23:42:13 PDT 2003

Way to go Jeff!


Jeff Barr is the Amazon Web Services (AWS) evangelist. His presentation on
AWS is online. Simplest Shop is an example
of using AWS to create an alternative shopping experience for Amazon
products. The site uses a comparison shopping model in contrast to the
standard product view from Amazon. The site is pretty impressive when you
think that the guts is all Amazon. Another demo site is the Amazon Lite
site. Notice the browse mode on the left-hand side and the history box on
the right.

Some Amazon information that needs to be understood:

ASIN - Amazon Standard Identification Number. This is the basic key to each
product on Amazon.
Browse Node - Collections of items. ASINs can be in multiple browse nodes.
Amazon, as has been widely noted, has stayed out of the REST vs. SOAP debate
by making their site compatible with both methodologies. I've used the site
in a RESTian way and apparently so have a lot of others. Amazon handles more
REST-type requests than SOAP-type requests. This probably shouldn't be
surprising since if all you want is a simple "give me a listing and let me
reformat it" kind of request, grabbing the XML from a search and using the
built-in XSLT engine to format it is dead-simple. Even so, the Amazon Lite
demo site is done in a RESTian fashion, showing that REST doesn't have to
equate to "simple."

Greek Landscapes is another example of a RESTian use of Amazon. The site is
all XSLT stylesheets and HTML. Click on a book link and note that the URL is
Amazon, but the formatting is for Greek Landscapes.


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