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   Re: [xml-dev] What are Web Services for? (Was RE: [xml-dev] lots of WS

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Matthew Gertner wrote:
> Your analogy to IP is well taken, but I still don't understand what your
> "declarative, distributed" applications look like and why they can't be
> built with SOAP. I'm a huge proponent of declarative approaches to software
> development, and I *want* to be convinced.

I gave some examples in the article. You can't XInclude SOAP resources.
you can't RDF-assert them. You can't download them with the document()
function used in XPath, XPointer, XSLT and XQuery.

Also consider the following URI. It discusses a use-case involving
mapping software:

 * http://www.prescod.net/rest/rpc_for_get.html

And this one discusses the *big issue*, integration:

 * http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2002Apr/0286.html

This integration theme is also addressed here:

 * http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2002/02/06/rest.html

> > I agree. That's why I discourage thinking of web services as APIs and
> > encourage thinking of them as writable information resources.
> I don't understand this either. Can you tie this into your Google example,
> perhaps? It seems to me that we are more talking about read-only resources
> that can be manipulated more easily because they provide structured content,
> no?

In that particular case the resources happen to be read-only. They could
be read-write, for instance, if it were possible to PUT a new
representation of a cached page so that Google's cache and index would
always be up-to-date. (of course there are security implications there
but you get the idea!!!)

> Another good point, but to me this just means that the Web is going to
> migrate towards a more business-oriented model where you can do
> micro-billing in a convenient way. Obviously this is going to take a while,
> but then who is claiming that this web services vision (whatever it is) is
> going to materialize tomorrow? (They're out there, for sure, but we're all
> smart enough to know they're dead wrong, right?) I'd certainly pay, say,
> $10/year each to have access to the four information sources I mentioned, if
> I could repurpose the information in the way that I am proposing. This is
> probably a far more viable model for making money and providing value over
> the longer term than the current advertising-oriented model. 

I think it will depend too much on the technical competence of readers
to make much money. Remember the blinking 12:00 on the VCRs. People will
put up with a lot of hassle to avoid learning something technically new
(unless it can be learned in a VERY incremental way).

 Paul Prescod


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