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Sorry to distract people from the eternal and unanswerable questions
of the meaning of meaning :~) but here's an InfoWorld article
relevant to the generality of HTTP for web services:
'AS PART OF an overall push to fortify Web services, vendors are
bolstering the reliability of messaging infrastructures with new
tools to allow enterprises to build applications that ensure delivery
of XML documents.
Asynchronous communication is at the core of these efforts. This type
of message delivery and transaction is becoming increasingly critical
as businesses cannot count on constant network uptime and synchronous
connectivity, experts said.
"The next passage [of adoption] is asynchronous messaging," said Tim
Hilgenberg, chief technology strategist at Lincolnshire, Ill.-based
Hewitt Associates. "I don't think HTTP will satisfy that need for
reliability [and transactions]."'
I guess my question is, "If HTTP is so general, why are vendors such
as BEA, Tibco, Progress, etc. moving to other protocols to "ensure
delivery of XML documents" via web services? It's easy to agree with
Mark Baker (especially after browsing the REST Wiki) that in
principle HTTP is a 99/1 solution for internet communications, so why
is the world backing away from this in practice?