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   Re: [xml-dev] Categories of Web Service messages: data-oriented v

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> > You draw the line where you require agreement on "intent" that is not
> > an intent defined by the application protocol.
> This is completely meaningless. You are insisting there are no such things
> are a protocol except that at the transport layer.

TCP is a transport protocol.  HTTP is an application protocol, with
application layer semantics.

> If I use
> such a form, I am not interested in POSTing data to a server. I am
> interested in buying something. And there better be something on that form
> that tells me what it is going to do. Whether it is the word "purchase" or
> "buy" is secondary, as long as there is something there I can understand.

Of course.  But I'm saying that the *message* that gets sent to the
server doesn't include anything that indicates that it is trying to
purchase a CD.  The only intent in the message is POST.  How do you
explain that?

> And by the way, that form probably does not just have one action verb
> associated with it. It will have one or more "buy this item" actions, a "use
> this credit card" action, and a "ship to this address" action, among others.
> Just because the HTTP server thinks that all that is going on is a POST
> action, doesn't mean that there aren't very relevant actions happening,
> here, at a higher layer. Surely, this is not a difficult concept to
> understand. I don't believe in a glass ceiling for protocol layers. You can
> keep piling them on until you get to a rich enough model to solve the
> problem at hand.

Of course you can pile them higher.  You've seen IP-over-MIME, I assume?
As long as you're tunneling, you can keep piling higher.  But if you're
not tunneling, you can't.  You hit a wall at the application layer.  All
that can be done there is to extend it, like SOAP can be used to do.

> I don't agree with your artificial conceptual boundaries as to what can be
> protocol and what can be data.

Artificial?!  The *only* time anything has ever been accomplished between
two uncoordinated parties over a network is when a fixed set of intents
was agreed upon ahead of time that let them solve their problem.

FTP defines intents that allow file transfer to occur.
SMTP defines intents that allow email transfer to occur.
IMAP defines intents that allow for email access and synchronization to

Mark Baker, Chief Science Officer, Planetfred, Inc.
Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.      mbaker@planetfred.com
http://www.markbaker.ca   http://www.planetfred.com


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