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RE: XML.COM: How I Learned to Love daBomb

I'll confess to being unfamiliar with ONC-RPC, but if it is only available
on UNIX, that doesn't quite cut it. Also, if it is unable to handle
serializing complex graphs of data in a manner that is portable across
platforms, that also doesn't quite cut it. Although simple RPC invocations
are a common use case for web services today, there is also much use of it
exchanging far more complex data structures (such as in ebXML).

Your point is well taken, though. Although FTP and EDI predominated at
opposite ends of the spectrum, there have undoubtedly been other options
that never got the mainstream attention that XML gets today.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Al Snell [mailto:alaric@alaric-snell.com]
> Sent: Monday, August 20, 2001 7:26 AM
> To: Michael Brennan
> Cc: xml-dev; 'Bullard, Claude L (Len)'
> Subject: RE: XML.COM: How I Learned to Love daBomb
> On Fri, 17 Aug 2001, Michael Brennan wrote:
> > Before programmers started using XML over HTTP to handle 
> integrations across
> > the internet, programmers were left with the choice between complex,
> > inordinately expensive EDI technologies, or simply 
> resorting to batch
> > transfers of data files over FTP. With XML over HTTP, the 
> bar has been
> > lowered and distributed messaging is within the reach of 
> those with even the
> > tightest of budgets. In addition, they are able to forge 
> integrations with
> > far richer semantics than those relying upon the batch 
> transfer of data
> > files. Services can collaborate in real time over the 
> Internet, and the
> > technology is within the reach of even those with rather 
> modest IT skills.
> This isn't quite true, ONC-RPC has come with Unix machines for years
> now... People usually didn't realise they had a nice reliable fast
> portable RPC toolkit that came with their system, but that's 
> because the
> software industry is still very very *bad*. So few architects 
> (for it is
> architects who should choose stuff like protocols for interconnection)
> actually bothered to find out what's out there. This is not 
> the fault of
> technology - it's a cultural problem in the software industry.
> You don't get the people who build bridges reinventing the 
> arch whenever
> suspension bridges go out of fashion, they already know about it...
> > This is not being driven by the "web for web's sake", but 
> by these very
> > practical concerns. Sure, as with every new thing that gets 
> aggressively
> > marketed and overhyped, there is some fetishism of the new 
> trend that is
> > happening. But there is also considerable real world 
> benefit from all of
> > this, and that is the real driver.
> Writing code with ONC-RPC is easier than using SOAP (unless 
> you're doing
> .NET stuff where there's a lot of code that hides the 
> complexity for you,
> at which point it's about the same as ONC-RPC, I gather).
> I refer the honourable reader to ISBN 0-937175-77-3