I concluded the article by saying ;
"This trip down memory lane has been a strange experience for me, I am left with some questions. Looking back on this should I be proud of what I achieved in the context of the time? The title of this post says that I created REST Web Services in 1999, but I have to admit that I didn't really know what I was doing so perhaps it was random chance that gave me this opportunity."
The realisation that I did something that was fairly worthwhile so long ago, even though I didn't really realise its' potential, has stayed with me over the last couple of months. It really did give me a well needed boost in confidence. However I have been even more shocked by the recent heavy chatter about the next generation of Web User Interfaces as showcased in Google's GMail service.
When people talk about this they are really extolling the virtues of using the XMLHttpRequest object in the browser to do data loading into a dynamic html interface. This leads to a very responsive experience for the user. Google has used this technique again to produce the Google Suggest service which will give you a list of word/phrase completions as you type and also tell you how many results they would produce.
Joel Spolsky talks about this technique on his blog, http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2004/12/15.html, where he says that its use is "raising the bar" for Web User Interfaces.
If you haven't guessed yet, the reason that I am talking about this is that it is exactly the technique that I used back in 1999 to deliver the interface for my final year project. I did this for reasons of providing a responsive user interface and removing the interface generation load from a server (by having it only deliver the data).
Again, I am not suggesting that I invented anything, or that I had the wherewithal to realise what I did. What I am saying is that ideas have their time, and I am glad that in some small way I managed to be part of two big ideas, even though no one will ever know (thanless they read this blog of course).
Note: I have 4 GMail invites that I have no use for, so if anyone wants one, e-mail me at the link on the home page and I'll hook you up. This is of course on a first come, first served basis.