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RE: [SOAP] Announce: A Busy Developer's Guide to SOAP 1.1

The SOAP spec explicitly references RFC 2376 http://www.normos.org/ietf/rfc/rfc2376.txt (now superceded by RFC 3023 - http://www.normos.org/ietf/rfc/rfc3023.txt). Anyone who is sincerely interested in interoperability will recognize that SOAP needs to be able to support the international community, and implementations therefore should follow the advice of RFC 2376/3023 and include explicit declarations of the character encoding used. They should also properly deal with such declarations in requests. I understand that the SOAP spec does not clearly address this issue. But it does explicitly reference RFC 2376, and RFC 2376 is quite clear on this issue (as is the newer RFC 3023).
As an experiment, I tried the "manyTypesTest" at "http://validator.soapware.org/validator1". If I send only ASCII text, it echos back just fine. I tried putting Russian text in as the string for param6. Sure enough, it was corrupted and came back garbled. I'd encourage anyone else to try this experiment. Try sending Kanji, or Cyrillic. It will come back garbled. The validator at soapware.org apparently supports an English-only SOAP.
I also tried the "echoString" test at http://services.xmethods.net:8080/soap/servlet/rpcrouter. This one worked. Thank you Apache! It's nice to see that someone in the SOAP community is willing to support internationalized text.
I tried the "echoString" test at http://services2.xmethods.net/ssss4c/ilab/soap.asp. It failed. The Russian text was garbled.
I tried the "echoString" test for the MS SOAP 2.0 B2 at http://services2.xmethods.net/XMethodsInterop/XMethodsInterop.asp. It failed.
I tried the "echoString" test for the MS .NET Beta at http://services3.xmethods.net/dotnet/xmethods/XMInterop/XMInterop.asmx. It generated a SOAP fault due to the fact I correctly identified the character encoding of my request via a "charset" parameter in the Content-Type header! This is absolutely abysmal! Here's the actual fault I received:
<soap:Envelope xmlns:soap="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/envelope/">
      <soap:faultstring>Server found request content type to be 'text/xml; charset="utf-8"', but expected 'text/xml'.</soap:faultstring>
I tried some of the others listed at the XMethods site, but either got 404 errors or no response at all, so this was the best I could do, for now.
The result of ignoring character encoding issues, as anyone can verify (as I just did myself), is that the SOAP toolkits that are being made available -- with the sole exception of Apache SOAP -- are only of use for English-only messaging. I really hope that other SOAP developers (including Microsoft!) start treating these issues related to internationalization more seriously. As it is, the current outlook seems quite bleak.
-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Winer [mailto:dave@USERLAND.COM]
Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2001 5:38 PM
Subject: [SOAP] Announce: A Busy Developer's Guide to SOAP 1.1

Good afternoon. Here's a pointer to a specification that describes a subset of SOAP 1.1 that we believe is the common subset supported by most if not all SOAP 1.1 implementations.
Interop is the hot topic now, but it's proving to be a slow process. We felt we could accelerate it by offering developers a specification of a small subset of SOAP that provides a lot of value, is easy to implement and offers a chance for interop to mean something very soon.