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   RE: XML over HTTP: SOAP and ...?

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  • From: Arjun Ray <aray@q2.net>
  • To: xml-dev@xml.org
  • Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2000 01:41:59 -0500 (EST)

On Mon, 6 Mar 2000, Box, Don wrote:
> > From: Arjun Ray [mailto:aray@q2.net]

> I've been especially adamant that no one should wait for some
> grand marketecture, component gallery, or resource kit; rather,
> SOAP is sufficiently simple to implement on your own. Check out my
> XSLT converter. SOAP is far less verbose than XML-RPC and arguably
> closer to the way most people write XML.

I'm not a XML-RPC die-hard by any means, but 'verbose' is a poor
description of what is pretty clearly (at least to me) a design choice
to be as regular as possible.  The benefit is that XML-RPC has a small
set of element types and a DTD for it is easy to write down.  (For
real minimalism, look at LDO!)  XML-RPC, to my mind, is a much better
fit to - call it a first cut at - an architecture, which I believe any
dedicated exchange protocol will need.

> During conference talks, I typically implement a SOAP client and
> server from scratch in a text editor in about 15 minutes or so.
> The technology is approachable even if our spec isn't.

I note that SOAP Perl bits occupy twice as much disk space as the
XML-RPC stuff:) [And they don't have arrays yet!]

> Also, please be aware that you are comparing a spec that was
> written by multiple engineers in "spec-speak" to a web page
> written by one web-journalist/entrepreneur. 

Actually, no.  The web-journalist/entrepreneur at least had the good
sense to desist from inventing a whole bunch of terminology to wend
through a maze of rules, not to mention idiosyncratic usages like
"element tag".  Most specs I've seen use established terminology as
much as possible. (That, btw, was one of the reasons for my
"Microsoft" comment - that company is famous for unloading reams upon
reams of newly minted verbiage to confuse and obfuscate issues.)

> I'd be curious to see
> what actual features of SOAP you find redundant or superflous.

 (1) Namespaces.
 (2) A Bizarro approach to arrays.

> Additionally, I'd love to know if you see the limitations of

Yup.  Links.

> or did Dave's anti-MS posting on the SOAP list convert you to
> XML-RPC simply on principle?

If you want to know, I think XML-RPC doesn't quite make the 80/20
split, but it comes very close.  Give credit where it's due.  Add
links to it, and that's plenty.

> I'm sorry that the spec "smacks of W3C bogosity," but some of us
> would rather move on than fight old battles that are largely
> irrelevant by this point. 

You must have missed my "Damage Control" post to the soap list.


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