Child Rearing Through HTTP Status Codes

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Long time readers of DLTJ know that I rarely post commentary outside the realm of disruptive library technology to this blog, much less reflections of personal, non-work life. This will be an exception, though, because it straddles that boundary between technology and family. It is called REST for toddlers and it comes to us from the "dive into mark" blog. By way of explanation, REST (as a technology term, not as used in the sentence "parents with young children often which they had a chance to rest.") is an acronym for Representational State Transfer, a way of constructing URLs so that they are useful outside the context of your current web browsing session (e.g. bookmarkable and/or e-mailable to someone else). REST rides atop the HTTP protocol, of which section 10 of the specification talks about response codes from clients to servers. What Mark has done is offer a real-life explanation of some of those response codes in the context of child-rearing. A sample:

200 OK
201 Created
“You went pee-pee in the potty!”
202 Accepted
“Daddy will do it in a minute.”
204 No Content
300 Multiple Choices
“Do you want apple juice or do you want milk?”

So, it would seem to me, that I just need to teach my daughter the HTTP protocol, at which point I can make our challenge/response dialog much more efficient:

  • Her: Can I go outside?
  • Me:Sure! 200
  • Her: Do you know where my bouncy ball is?
  • Me: Sorry, 404. 302.
  • Her: Well, then can I have that bucket and shovel?
  • Me: 409.
  • Her: Ple-e-e-s-e?!?
  • Me: 304, and if you keep asking, 403!

The text was modified to update a link from to on November 6th, 2012.