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   Re: [xml-dev] Traditional RPC

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Dare Obasanjo wrote:
> Was that a serious answer? The fact that millions of people communicate
> using software that talks a proprietary protocol on the Internet somehow
> translates to that being a killer web service platform?

Some people have a strong faith that the most important thing is the
quality and applicability of a technology. Obviously they are often
wrong. Other people have a strong faith that the nuts and bolts of a
technology are irrelevant as long as it works in some very basic
functional sense. They figure that you can find the holes and patch them
later. They are often wrong also.

Len Bullard and Dave Winer are expressing the latter view with respect
to web services. They figure that whatever is widely deployed will work
good enough and achieve traction. My sense is that we are miles away
from "working good enough" if the problem domain is as described here:

"The ultimate goal of Web services, many vendors say, is to let Internet
applications interact with each other the same way humans interact with
them. Exactly how that will happen remains unclear, but Web services
proponents say just as the Internet is navigated by humans using Web
browsers, applications will be able to navigate the Web and interact
using emerging Web service standards.

Web services promise to offer a standard API that will let any two
companies conduct e-business transactions, regardless of their IT
infrastructure. The technology lets one company's inventory management
application interact with a trading partner's product shipping
application, even if the applications are running on different
platforms. And emerging standards will help companies locate potential
business partners based on the services the partners offer, and ensure
that their respective apps can work together. "

 * http://www.internetweek.com/indepth01/indepth041001.htm

One can hardly blame Dave and Len for their techno-agnosticism in a
world where DOS had a 15 year reign and more people program in Visual
Basic than Eiffel. Nevertheless there are cases where the details of a
technology does matter and it is admittedly frustrating as a
technologist that it is trendy to wave that away.

But my consolation is that technology matters so strongly in this case
that the dominance of the global namespace point of view is inevitable.
The technology world is littered with the carcasses of technologies that
tried to go up against the global namespace and failed. "Keep 'em

 Paul Prescod


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