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   Re: New internet draft on layering protocols on top of HTTP

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  • From: Mark Baker <mark.baker@canada.sun.com>
  • To: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
  • Date: Mon, 08 May 2000 20:08:09 -0400

"Simon St.Laurent" wrote:
> We'll see what happens.  Whether or not it's made an official IESG/IAB
> position, I'll be surprised if this I-D is actually adhered to in practice.
>  It's easier by far to violate these rules with existing tools than to
> adhere to them.

Nobody said it was going to be easy.

> While it may affect protocols going through IETF process, it's not clear
> (yet) that the current round of XML+HTTP protocols is going to be going
> that route.

Give it time.  The W3C is *not* a place to do protocols, while the IETF
is *the* place to do them.  Seems like a no brainer to me.

> >Why?  I would have thought the port 80 thing would have been the hardest
> >to swallow.
> Port 80 and the new URL issue are on about the same level of additional
> implementation complexity, from my perspective, and neither is especially
> welcome.

Hopefully you meant "expected" instead of "welcome", since each of the
issues Keith raises are extremely important for ensuring
interoperability in the future.  And what complexity?!

You said yourself in your other post;

"Some URIs that purport to be HTTP are now complex listeners and
responders, no 
longer accepting 'ordinary' HTTP requests and modifying or ignoring the 
HTML forms-based GET and POST approaches to transmitting information
client to server."

That's a Very Bad Thing, don't you agree?  If people want to reuse HTTP
the protocol without thinking about the consequences to
interoperability, they should be asked to use a port other than 80. 
Ditto for the URI scheme, since expectations are that any HTTP client
can GET any HTTP URI.  The alternative keeps me awake at night, worrying
that the first vendor to release the understands-everything-on-port-80
"web server", wins.

> No, actually, right now it's probably more on topic for XML-Dev than for
> discuss@apps.ietf.org, because XML is the force currently driving the
> emergence of these problems.

CORBA/Java/COM/etc.-over-HTTP raises many of the same issues, but I
agree that the pervasiveness of XML has brought this to the fore.

> I'd prefer to see what the consensus is around here before diving into the
> IETF discussions.  My previous encounters at intersections between XML
> applications and IETF discussions have been difficult, to say the least,
> and I suspect we have an unstoppable force/immovable object problem in the
> protocol discussions.

FWIW, I thought the "-xml" hack was a brilliant piece of engineering
design.  Thanks for your work on it.

> (For a larger perspective on XML as a general problem, see my post
> yesterday at:
> http://xml.org/archives/xml-dev/2000/05/0138.html )

Good post.  Quick comments;

- MIME has as much trouble integrating with "Web technology" as XML does
(eg. CRLF vs LF).  It's heritage is email.
- bigger and better things await namespace URIs


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