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   RE: XML over HTTP: SOAP and ...?

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  • From: Mark Birbeck <Mark.Birbeck@iedigital.net>
  • To: xml-dev@XML.ORG
  • Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2000 09:02:05 -0000

Arjun Ray wrote:
> The SOAP spec has "Microsoft crud" written all over it (as in,
> overload it with as many features and complexities as it takes to
> convince people that they really shouldn't bother trying to implement
> it themselves but just get um, "authorized" software from um,
> "official" sources.)  Alternatives like WDDX, XML-RPC, and LDO go a
> long way to show that the "problem" isn't nearly as complicated as a
> reading of the SOAP spec might lead one to believe.
> The trouble is that the marketing machine is going to tout SOAP as
> some sort of superset ("more general", "more flexible" - oops, gotta
> use W3C speak, sorry - "more evolvable", etc.), so enough people just
> might lose sight of the fact that a Light-Weight Protocol could
> *really* be enough.

Unfortunately XML-RPC just does not cut it, Arjun. Firstly it is very
verbose (make that very, very) and secondly it does not give firewalls a
lot of help in spotting it. SOAP goes some way to resolving both of
these issues. Everything else in SOAP is just a bonus - better handling
of arrays, attempts to harmonise with XML Schema, and so on - but
welcome bonuses no less.

You're right that XML-RPC is dead easy to implement; the argument
UserLand uses for championing it is that anyone can implement the
software. Unfortunately that doesn't mean that it is
industrial-strength. I believe that SOAP is.

Best regards,

Mark Birbeck

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