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RE: "Uh, what do I need this for" (was RE: XML.COM: How I Learne d to Love daBomb)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Michael Brennan [mailto:Michael_Brennan@allegis.com]
> Sent: Monday, August 20, 2001 7:11 PM
> To: 'Champion, Mike'; xml-dev
> Subject: RE: "Uh, what do I need this for" (was RE: XML.COM: How I
> Learne d t o Love daBomb)
> discussion.
> I don't see how these are subject to Edd Dumbill's critique. 
> None of these are being pushed forward under the aegis of the W3C, at 
> present. So if you attack these efforts, you are saying don't 
> bring these to the  W3C, and don't
> pursue these outside of the W3C, either.

Also sprach Edd:  'Following the standard YAP pattern, acronyms and
followed: DISCO, WSDL, UDDI. Suddenly we're in the middle of a new
wave of technology, another set of features, and nobody really seems
to have asked, to say nothing of answered sensibly, the question: "Uh,
what do I need this for?"'

In other words, Edd's critique (as I interpret it) is that "standards" were
proposed to solve problems before they were understood, and people jumped on
the bandwagon for these "standards" simply because everyone else was.  

> So what are they supposed to do?

Ask themselves "What do I need this for?" <grin>  If there is a sensible
answer, *then* I'm not exactly sure what Edd would say.  I'd say  "Figure
out the simplest thing that could possibly meet the need."  That would
probably be to start by publishing the "API" of your Web Service in a
predictable place on your site; it would be a lot easier to establish a
convention such as "If your Web Service is accessed by the URL
http://server.domain.com/someService then there will be an HTML file
http://server.domain.com/someService/callinfo.html containing human-readable
information on how to call it via SOAP or XML-RPC" than to get UDDI and WSDL

If there is a real need for machine-readable calling information, maybe RDDL
or something like it could be leveraged.  Or if WSDL needs to be invented,
base it on concrete experience rather than conjecture about what people
might possibly need someday.

If there is a need for a global catalog of machine-readable calling
information for web services, THEN maybe something like UDDI needs to be
agreed upon ... (or maybe LDAP would suffice .. or maybe some other bit of
concrete experience can be leveraged.)

Anyway, these aren't serious proposals ... just illustrations of how one
might approach the problem if people thought about what they really need
before they worried about marketing their shiny new paradigm. THAT's Edd's
point, IMHO.