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   RE: RDF vs. SOAP serialization (oh yeah, and XMI and XTM)

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  • From: Michael Brennan <Michael_Brennan@Allegis.com>
  • To: 'David Megginson' <david@megginson.com>, xml-dev <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Date: Fri, 22 Dec 2000 12:33:31 -0800

I'm not sure I'd agree that the developer community for SOAP is smaller than
the developer community for RDF. Get on the SOAP mailing list and look at
the level of traffic. Then keep in mind that those who are actually vocal on
the list are simply the tip of the iceberg.

However, I'm inclined to believe that the SOAP community has a different
character. Most of the people working with RDF are XML sophisticates
exploring some of the outer reaches of XML and ways of characterizing
metadata. Many of these people are developing tools for such purpose.

In contrast, most of the people who are using SOAP are simply programmers
seeking ways of integrating applications across the web. They've heard about
SOAP (usually from an article in a magazine or on a website) and have jumped
on board with it. Most know little or nothing about XML (and don't care to
know about it). Very few are actually writing tools. Rather, they are simply
using the tools available to get a job done.

My guess is that within the RDF community, there is a higher percentage of
people who are writing tools and engaging in discussions with peers in
public forums than within the SOAP community.

Of course, if by "developer community" you mean those developing tools, than
perhaps you are correct. I haven't tried to survey the state of tools for
RDF and compare them to SOAP. However, just because the tools are there and
the announcements keep coming, doesn't mean that the broader mainstream of
computing is paying attention.

My job is to help our customers' IT folks integrate with our solution. In
that capacity, I deal regularly with folks who represent a cross-section of
the IT industry. I know from my own experience that if you go out and start
surveying avegage IT folks, you'll find a significant (though still small)
percentage that have some knowledge or awareness of SOAP. We have even had
some actually express a desire to us to use SOAP for integration. I can also
tell you that RDF is not even registering on the radar screen for these

The folks who are active on xml-dev, and who attend these XML conferences,
and engage in discussions about the semantic web, and make announcements of
their work in these areas, are doing fascinating and valuable work -- but
they are not representative of the mainstream computing community.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Megginson [mailto:david@megginson.com]
> Sent: Friday, December 22, 2000 9:08 AM
> To: xml-dev
> Subject: RDF vs. SOAP serialization (oh yeah, and XMI and XTM)
> [...]
> Both SOAP and RDF are fairly easy to use (50 points each), both have
> good free cross-language tools and libraries (+20 points for RDF,
> which has a lot more, and +10 for SOAP), and both have enthusiastic
> and active developer communities (+20 for RDF, +10 more for SOAP,
> which has a smaller community because it's newer).  
> [...]


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