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What the WSIO has to cope with, it must cope with
in the heat of an intense competition. What the
W3C has to cope with, it must in the heat of
competing ideas and designs. Where this converges
is on the desktop and the server. If you have
tried to integrate some of the new database offerings
with the desktop and seen the apalling gaps that
are suddenly popping out of the drivers, it is
obvious this won't happen overnight. I have
to hope the ambitious goals of the WSIO and
Web service advocates scale to the micro world
as well as the macro world of the Internet. No
amount of hype patches an ODBC error or server
can't be found or is unavailable error. I too
find the prospect of Global DLL Hell not attractive.
So simple will definitely be better on this
one, and coarse will have to work first. In
short form, basic interoperability of services
is what is needed now, the Web As Enterprise,
not As Computer.
I need to give REST a rest for the moment and ask
what those baseline and global specs have in them
to see what kind of patterns emerge. If these are
the specs the WSIO intends to factor, then that's
where my immediate tasks are. Like it or not,
.NET is a fact of life for me.
From: Mike Champion [mailto:email@example.com]
I'd say that XML-DEV collectively has a pretty good track record
in pointing out things that eventually succeeed (SAX being the
shining example) and giving early warning of things that are going
to be interoperability nightmares (Namespaces and W3C schema come
to mind). Even Paul Prescod just asserts that the REST approach
will probably underly the *next* generation of Web Services as the
limitations of RPC over HTTP become apparent.
Sure. We as developers working for companies that must actually
sell something have to play the hand that the market has dealt us.
WS-I will probably play a valuable role in making sure that
everybody knows the rules of the game. That gives the current web
services paradigm the best chance it will have to solve some set
of real problems, even though that is probably a small subset of
the problems it is being touted to solve.
I think Tim and Tim have it right -- the W3C has no business being
in the game of rubber stamping WSDL or trying to find the profile
of specs from 5 different organizations that actually can be made
to work together in the short run. This is not its core competence
any more (although arguably that's more or less what it did with
HTML 3.x, XML 1.0, and DOM 1.0). The *members* of the W3C need
exactly that, so they formed the WS-I.
Maybe I'm getting schizoid, but I have no problem believing that
the WS-I has an important role to play today in keeping the
SOAP/WSDL/UDDI/WS*/J2EE/.NET house of cards from collapsing
(recognizing that one does that with cardboard and glue).
Nevertheless, the W3C is "right" that a Web Services architecture
that exploits REST principles and is unencumbered by patent and
builds on a solid understanding of metadata will work better than
the mess that the WS-I is trying to sort out, although it may take
a few years for this to be obvious.
Or maybe the WS-I is sorting out the basic interoperability issues
so that J2EE and .NET can interoperate within firewalls and
between established business parters; the W3C is (or should be,
and XML-DEV should hold their feet to the fire) sorting out how
this can scale to the Internet, recognizing that some refactoring
of the WS-I output will be necessary to achieve this.