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   RE: XML over HTTP: SOAP and ...?

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  • From: Jim Ancona <scarhill@yahoo.com>
  • To: xml-dev@xml.org
  • Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 07:11:22 -0800 (PST)

--- Miles Sabin <msabin@cromwellmedia.co.uk> wrote:
> The critical issue for any RPC mechanism whatsoever (SOAP, 
> IIOP, RMI, DCOM etc.) is that, unlike local calls, remote calls 
> can fail. That means there'll always be a conflict between
> transparency (making remote calls look like local calls) and
> recoverability (dealing with network failures *as* network 
> failures rather than as failures at the application-level).

The definitive paper on this problem is "A Note on Distributed
Computing" by Jim Waldo, Geoff Wyant, Ann Wollrath, and Sam Kendall.
It's well worth reading for anyone working on distributed systems. 

>From the abstract:

"We argue that objects that interact in a distributed system need to be
dealt with in ways that are intrinsically different from objects that
interact in a single address space. These differences are required
because distributed systems require that the programmer be aware of
latency, have a different model of memory access, and take into account
issues of concurrency and partial failure."

It's available at:


Some of the authors are the designers of RMI, so RMI at least tries to
deal with these issues.



Jim Ancona
jim@anconafamily.com                     jancona@xevo.com
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