Browser enhancements

"There are two noncontroversial uses for overloaded POST. The first is to simulate HTTP's uniform interface for clients like web browsers that don't support PUT or DELETE"

RESTful Web Services, Leonard Richardson & Sam Ruby.

Browser based PUT, DELETE, etc...

REST framework supports browser-based PUT, DELETE and other methods, by overloading POST requests using a hidden form field.

Note that this is the same strategy as is used in Ruby on Rails.

For example, given the following form:

<form action="/news-items/5" method="POST">
    <input type="hidden" name="_method" value="DELETE">

request.method would return "DELETE".

HTTP header based method overriding

REST framework also supports method overriding via the semi-standard X-HTTP-Method-Override header. This can be useful if you are working with non-form content such as JSON and are working with an older web server and/or hosting provider that doesn't recognise particular HTTP methods such as PATCH. For example Amazon Web Services ELB.

To use it, make a POST request, setting the X-HTTP-Method-Override header.

For example, making a PATCH request via POST in jQuery:

    url: '/myresource/',
    method: 'POST',
    headers: {'X-HTTP-Method-Override': 'PATCH'},

Browser based submission of non-form content

Browser-based submission of content types other than form are supported by using form fields named _content and _content_type:

For example, given the following form:

<form action="/news-items/5" method="PUT">
    <input type="hidden" name="_content_type" value="application/json">
    <input name="_content" value="{'count': 1}">

request.content_type would return "application/json", and would return "{'count': 1}"

URL based accept headers

REST framework can take ?accept=application/json style URL parameters, which allow the Accept header to be overridden.

This can be useful for testing the API from a web browser, where you don't have any control over what is sent in the Accept header.

URL based format suffixes

REST framework can take ?format=json style URL parameters, which can be a useful shortcut for determining which content type should be returned from the view.

This is a more concise than using the accept override, but it also gives you less control. (For example you can't specify any media type parameters)

Doesn't HTML5 support PUT and DELETE forms?

Nope. It was at one point intended to support PUT and DELETE forms, but was later dropped from the spec. There remains ongoing discussion about adding support for PUT and DELETE, as well as how to support content types other than form-encoded data.