OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help



   RE: [xml-dev] ANN: REST Tutorial

[ Lists Home | Date Index | Thread Index ]

Then one has to ask, how much cost can be absorbed 
and opportunities deferred while waiting for a standard 
or specification process to settle down.  Again, what 
makes RPC communications attractive is the "immediateness" 
of implementation.   What is it the everyone understands 
or think they understand that can be applied to the 
immediate problems of fielding systems?  REST is only 
a piece of a solution.  What is the next step?  Big 
schemas?  Small schemas?  No schemas?  Whose schemas? 
In what order should we solve the problems?

HTML only solved one problem.  It was the problem 
everyone had: a downtranslation target for a 
weak but serviceable rendering on a screen at 
low to medium resolutions.  The success was not 
due to most of the reasons given, but that *it 
solved a problem everyone had*.  Then low costs 
made it not only a neat solution but a compelling one.

The dilemma of the document-centric or data-centric 
standard schema design is waiting for it to be complete and knowing 
by dint of experience, that every day it is in draft 
form, it is accreting features.   Those of us who 
sat through CALS watched the 38784 originated document 
spec turn into the over 1000 page 28001 DTD spec driven 
by black projects whose experience base was 
also opaque, therefore, whose implementations were 
also opaque.
We went from a document description that most experienced 
writers understood and managers knew how to customize 
(it solved a problem everyone had) 
to a mass of technical obscurity that was expensive 
to digest and understand and for which all of the 
toolsets were experiments escaping the lab (it solved 
lots of problems only a few people had).

There was a middle point where it was easier to digest 28001 
and it all gelled, but that didn't last long because 
it became the only "legitimate SGML DTD" for mil work 
and it was a print system stalled out over the FOSI 
and DSSSL.  While some progress was 
made in databased IETMs for digital display, the 
print system got the attention, the money, and every 
feature imaginable.   Innovation was pushed like a 
round peg into an octagonal hole. Big iron moved the monster.

The dot.bomb was public.  The CALS fiascos were 
DoD line items.  Most of you didn't get to see 
four billion disappear into the consultancy and 
LargeSystemIntegrator pocketbooks.   Did it work? 
Yes.  Did it thrive?  No.  Who got the benefits? 
Mostly very big concerns.  It paid salaries and 
educated a core absorbed eventually into the 
web where small was beautiful and those absorbed were 
eager to get small.

Drift.  Big schemas drift worse than small local 
interfaces.  SOAP RPC has the quality of immediateness 
that the working programmer understands. Universal 
access, uniform identity, these are neat for Yahoo 
and CNN, but they don't mean a thing to a project 
whose total scope is a handful of qualified systems. 
They are in fact, counterproductive.  An RPC interface 
is a simple thing compared to learning how to process 
a complex schema driven document.  And it drifts less 
often.  I see the arguments about "what if the interface 
changes";  well, what if the schema changes?

Same problem; bigger scope with larger impact on 
local systems.


From: Matt Gushee [mailto:mgushee@havenrock.com]

On Tue, May 21, 2002 at 10:36:14AM -0500, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
> Errrr.... yes and no.   The REST model of communication 
> isn't as familiar to mainstream programmers as one 
> might assume.

You're right. My statement was an oversimplification. When I said
'near-universal presence', I meant that everybody's got the Web.
Whether they understand it in what many of us consider the 'proper'
way is another matter, as you rightly point out.


News | XML in Industry | Calendar | XML Registry
Marketplace | Resources | MyXML.org | Sponsors | Privacy Statement

Copyright 2001 XML.org. This site is hosted by OASIS