404 to PATCH contradict RFC 7231


The Updating Resources section of the spec says:

A server MUST return 404 Not Found when processing a request that references a related resource that does not exist.

This contradicts RFC 7231 § 6.5.4, which clearly refers to the target resource (i.e. the request URI).

If that’s OK by your compatibility policy, I suggest removing or relaxing this requirement of JSON API. If not, then at least a note is in order.

A better status code may be 422 (Unprocessable Entity), defined by WebDAV (RFC 4918 § 11.2) but widely used elsewhere.


Thanks for pointing this out @vfaronov. Could you please open an issue so that we track this? https://github.com/json-api/json-api


Opened #998.

archived #4