Now that HTTP
PATCH is official, would lack of standard media types and patch formats to describe partial updates to resource hamper its adoption? Most likely not.
The problem with any write request is maintaining integrity of the data in the backend. When a client submits
PUT requests, the server has to ensure that the representation in the request is consistent with the business rules that govern what is valid and what is not. The media types used for representations along with documentation can describe client developers how to make such write requests that honor server's business rules.
The introduction of
PATCH complicates this a bit more. In addition to describing valid resource representations for creating, updating, or doing other kinds of things with
DELETE, the server now needs to tell clients what combinations of partial updates are valid for use with the
PATCH method. General diff formats would leave the door open for clients to submit invalid combinations of partial updates that violate the business rules on the server side. To avoid this, it is better to come up with application specific representations for partial updates. See How to Use PATCH for an example. Lack of standard media type for diffs should not hold you from using the