I’ve had some trouble properly articulating my ideas around this in writing, largely because it requires quite a few jumps in knowledge and logic to understand where I’m coming from on it.
The annual RESTFest conference gave me a chance to better articulate it. In short – to understand how an API client may be able to consume a descriptor language to parse anything you may throw at it in terms of a response, consider how the browser handles plugins.
Better yet, watch my talk at RESTFest for full details:
And here are the slides on Slideshare: