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Dr. Francis Palma

Dr. Francis Palma

University of New Brunswick in Frederick, NB, Canada

Are RESTful services “RESTful” yet? Do developers care about the linguistic design quality of their services?


At present, I am working as an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Computer Science at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, NB, Canada. Prior to joining UNB, I worked nearly 4 years as an Assistant Professor (Universitetslektor) in the Department of Computer Science and Media Technology at Linnaeus University in Sweden. My other experiences include:

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Ryerson University with Dr. Ayse Bener hosted by Data Science Laboratory (DSL) in an IBM CAS project, where I applied Machine Learning techniques in prioritizing test cases in the context of software development and testing.
  • Research Scientist at Screaming Power Inc that builds mobile Apps and securely manages energy data for property owners, and enables energy providers to connect and share energy data with their customers, which will allow us to optimize energy consumption.
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) in the Concordia University working with Dr. Ferhat Khendek (Concordia) and Dr. Maria Toeroe (Ericsson Canada Inc, Montreal). I was a member of MAGIC team at Concordia.


The REST (Representational State Transfer) architecture style is a de facto choice to create APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) for lightweight and scalable web-based applications. Many studies have analyzed RESTful services and found a misalignment between the theoretical aspects of REST and the practices. This talk will present our findings by examining 40 services to review where they stand today in terms of being RESTful and how well they are designed from a linguistic design quality perspective. We also survey practitioners to know to what extent they follow various REST design criteria. Thus, a mixed-methods approach was applied to compare the results to see if the findings confirm each other. The results show that RESTful services and practitioners apply most of the REST design criteria. We also found heterogeneous practices in RESTful services that go against the principles. Moreover, there is a statistically significant relationship between the implementation of services and the practitioners’ view concerning their conformance to REST principles.