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   Re: Fwd: Re: [xml-dev] What does SOAP really add?

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Didier PH Martin wrote:
> ...
> I agree, to use SOAP everywhere is not the best solution. To try to fit
> everything to the REST architecture is also not the best solution. To
> finally propose HTTP guidelines is a good solution but is a bit too late
> since millions of applications are actually dependant on other ways of doing
> things and since W3 is not a Procrustean tyrant, it can't cut our legs to
> make us fit in the prescribed bed (i.e. solution). 

First, HTTP and the W3C website have always contained the guidelines but
I agree that they were not widely communicated.

Second, it *is* possible to migrate people from unconstrained use to
better use. The current popularity of CSS with web designers is an
example. Insofar as there are very few deployed web services of any
type, we don't even really have a "legacy" problem there.

Third, the extent of the debauchery on the existing Web is often
exaggerated. Yes, POST is often used for idempotent operations, but
sophisticated web designers know that to make their results bookmarkable
they needed to generate URIs for them, whether they read the HTTP spec
or not. Your "query templates" idea works at odds with the Web precisely
because it disallows you from constructing URIs. If you apply the query
template on the client side you have no such problem. Given that you've
lost this key benefit of the Web, it really doesn't matter to me
(personally) whether you use SOAP, an idempotent HTTP POST or Mark's
workaround. You've already given up the Web's primary advantage so what
does the actual technique matter?

> So what about having SOAP to get its own port and therefore be a real
> transport protocol, this time based on XML instead of the format proposed by
> internet messages (like SMTP, SIP, HTTP, WEBDAV, etc..).

That would be fine with me but the SOAP people would scream bloody
murder. Masquerading as HTTP is a central part of SOAP's value
proposition: "passes freely through firewalls." Early attempts to use
HTTP's M-POST were shouted down. That was at least  a step towards
differentiating between SOAP traffic and HTTP traffic.

 Paul Prescod


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