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   Re: [xml-dev] Typing and paranoia

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On Thu, 5 Dec 2002, Tim Bray wrote:

> Mike Champion wrote:

> There's a deep tension here that won't go away.  Some of us really 
> REALLY want to be able to deal with the bits on the wire and REALLY like 
> the open-ness and interoperability that gives us.  Others really REALLY 
> want to take the bits on the wire away and present us instead with an 
> API that has 117 entry points averaging 5 arguments and try to convince 
> us that this is somehow equivalent.  XML, for the first time in my 
> professional career, represents a consensus on interoperability: that it 
> is achieved by interchanging streams of characters with embedded markup. 
>   Since about 15 seconds after XML's release, the API bigots have been 
> trying to recover from this terrible mistake and pretend that the syntax 
> is ephemeral and the reality is the data structure, just read chapters 3 
> through 27 of the API spec, buy the programmer's toolkit, sign up for 
> professional services and hey-presto, you'll be able to access your own 
> data, isn't that wonderful!?!?


I am currently working on a Web services implementation in a large
financial services company. Other than performance (!) the main concern of
the team leads is finding the perfect tool that hides all XML knowledge

  * an appropriate WSDL spec and schema (designed by a singularly talented
    and small group of 'experts')
  * a good code generator that produces framework-specific proxy 
    and template classes (e.g. Iona, Websphere, .NET, weblogic frameworks)
  * a good code development environment that embraces the corresponding 
    services framework (for use by the app. developers)

The saving grace is that the WSDL (and schema) leaves a machine readable /
standards-based description of the interface, which is better than the
previous situation (proprietary, poorly documented protocols and formats).  
Save this benefit, this is exactly the situation Tim describes.

On the other hand, I can be convinced that this choice actually makes good
business sense. The company doesn't want to be a technology company --
that's not their business. They just want the stuff to work and cost less
than it used to, and want someone else (their tools suppliers) to swallow
the cost/risk of developing new techology and implementing the latest



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