Back in the late 1990's Dave Winer observed how networked peripheral devices could expose their functionality via HTTP; thus doing away with things like proprietary drivers and weird protocols. Just one set of standard APIs for each device class.

Of course Dave was thinking in terms of WebRPC, not REST and it didn't make economic sense then. But in this day of cheap Linux-capable single-board computers you'd think the time had come for Dave's idea to re-emerge.

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The best part of Dave's idea was the way devices could expose some of their functionality via web forms (we'd be talking 'web apps' now) and some via standardized APIs.

This not only means applications aware of the APIs could talk to any device on your network and interact with them (including enumerating device functionality), but also means the device could expose some functionality – including non-standard functionality – via it's own user-friendly UI.

Big IoT companies would hate that…

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