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   Re: [xml-dev] SOAP and the Web

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Hi Mark,

Mark said:
> That discipline isn't gratuitous, it's to enable ad hoc communication
> over a network between uncoordinated parties.  Without the discipline,
> you lose that.  Which is why we've seen public Web services deployed on
> the Internet "blossom" from 35 to 165 in about a year;
> http://www.markbaker.ca/2002/04/WebServicesGrowth/
> This use of SOAP *cannot* win, no matter how much developers like it, or
> how much hype it receives.

Didier replies:
Two factors contribute to the fact that, in the actual conditions, we won't
have the same growth factor for web services as we saw for the web:

a) Amounts of available money to experiment. Just remember how much money
has been invested in the web. That was during a huge "bull" period in which,
VC and public investors injected fortunes on "the next big thing". The good
result is that if even goose can fly when it is very windy :-) this created
momentum and provoked a herd effect with the secondary advantage of a
massive effort to build the web. This huge wave supported by billions of $
even scared Microsoft's billions of $. To better understand the factors
behind such bubble may I suggest a book from Alasdair Nairn - Engines That
Moves Markets (Technology investing from railroads to the intenet and
beyong). I personally learned how little humanity learns from the mistakes
of the past or from a different perspective, that technological progresses
sometimes needs some "irrational exuberance" in order to succeed.
b) Web services arrived at times where money is rare. During "Bear" times
and just after a big bubble. So close to the after bubble's losses that
people are now cautious. So, a first problem for web services: not as much
funds available as for the web. "Sorry the guys before you ate the pie and
nothing is left" :-) A second problem is to find good business models since
now, entrepreneurs are required to present business models with positive
cash flows in contrast to the previous era where the only requirement was to
catch eyeballs (Off course people want free lunches :-). If some innovative
businessman find ways to create positive cash flows from web services then
others will follow. Expect slow acceptance of any technology after a bubble
proposing free lunches especially if that technology is not free. A
potential area of growth is for products adding new feature in order to
increase their competitiveness in the market place. For example, Siebel
adding a web service front end to their software. In any aftermath things
are moving a lot slower than in times of euphoria.

Conclusion: its not so much a question of technical merits as simply a
question of funds.

Sorry to kill illusions with a such utilitarian approach.

Didier PH Martin


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