Peter Drayton has an excellent presentation contrasting REST and SOAP. Although I find myself eminently comfortable with the SOAP architecture, the REST model has several things going for it.
His points about Web-centric mindsets and the object/distributed object mindsets being central to one's preference is strong. The unspoken reality is that much of the traditional interfacing between a client and a service is done in terms of very basic operations.
You might ask a WidgetService to create a widget. In the web-centric world, it would be quite natural to implement this as a POST. In the distributed object world, there would probably be a Manager service and it would produce
a widget. My bet is that object names + method name would be forty plus characters. The issue is not the length of the reference, but rather
the seeming unwillingness of object developers to acknowledge that what they
are doing is
createing a widget. Nothing more, no producing, no management.
See Building Web Services the REST Way by Roger Costello for a gentle introduction to building RESTful services