andi andi - 10 days ago 5
reST (reStructuredText) Question

Pagination in a REST web application

This is a more generic reformulation of this question (with the elimination of the Rails specific parts)

I am not sure how to implement pagination on a resource in a RESTful web application.
Assuming that I have a resource called

, which of the following do you think is the best approach, and why:

1. Using only query strings


The problem here is that I can't use full page caching and also the URL is not very clean and easy to remember.

2. Using pages as resources and query strings for sorting


In this case, the problem that is see is that
is not a unique resource since using
can yield a totally different result and I still can't use page caching.

3. Using pages as resources and an URL segment for sorting


I personally see no problem in using this method, but someone warned me that this is not a good way to go (he didn't give a reason, so if you know why it's not recommended, please let me know)

Any suggestions, opinions, critiques are more than welcome. Thanks.


I think the problem with version 3 is more a "point of view" problem - do you see the page as the resource or the products on the page.

If you see the page as the resource it is a perfectly fine solution, since the query for page 2 will always yield page 2.

But if you see the products on the page as the resource you have the problem that the products on page 2 might change (old products deleted, or whatever), in this case the URI is not always returning the same resource(s).

E.g. A customer stores a link to the product list page X, next time the link is opened the product in question might no longer be on page X.