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   XML, routing

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When I posted Kurt's newsletter yesterday, I was interested as much in
the issues Don Box seemed to raise more than any specific answers
provided.  There's a lot in there that's come up before, issues that go
beyond XML itself into deep realms of networking, but which are probably
worth considering here.

The various WS-routing specs seem to build on a notion that starts from
XML's clean labeled containers and is made much more explicit by SOAP's
notions of envelopes, headers, paths, and SOAP intermediaries.

I don't think that there's much present danger of any form of XML
routing driving down to the IP packet level.  (There is a long-term
danger of having developers becoming so disconnected from that level
that they find themselves relying on other tools.)

However, there does appear to be a fair amount of value in various forms
of routing using the contents of these XML (or similar) messages,
whether the activity takes place inside of a single program on a single
computer (which I think most of us do regularly, and various proposals
for namespace dispatching make that more explicit) or distributed across
multiple systems with various intermediaries.

While IP routing is (was) forced to be simple by the general notion that
any node should be able to contact any node, I don't see any such demand
in these cases.  Limited numbers of processors will be involved in these
service communities, and I suspect there's ample room for
application-level routing of this kind.

Although I can't say I have much sympathy for SOAP's particular approach
to these issues or for the ever-growing WS-whatever specs, there's
definitely a substantial set of issues lurking here.

Simon St.Laurent - SSL is my TLA
http://simonstl.com may be my URI
http://monasticxml.org may be my ascetic URI
urn:oid: is another possibility altogether


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