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5223Re: [decentralization] Re: xml protocols and transport bindings

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  • Clay Shirky
    Feb 2, 2002
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      > I hear everything from "DCOM for the web" to "just an envelope
      > format" [and] from RPC to "fully asychronous." Why would we even try
      > to put all of those things into one spec?

      Here's the problem: the Web Services stack is more subdivided than the
      Web stack.

      The Web Web Services
      =================================================================
      Encoding (HTML) Data Format/App Logic (e.g. OFX, RSS...)
      Transport/App Logic (HTTP) Envelope (SOAP, XML-RPC)
      Encoding (XML)
      Transport (HTTP, IM, SMTP, BXXP, ...)

      (I mean Transport in the FTP/HTTP sense, the transport protocol that
      in turn makes use of TCP or UDP or whatever.)

      Because the goal here is to add flexibility everywhere, layers lower
      than the data format itself make many fewer assumptions about the
      application logic or the transport binding than the Web stack
      does. Now you can argue, as the RESTanians do, that this is The Wrong
      Answer, and I'm sympathetic to that view, but if your goal is
      something that looks like the stack above, you need just enough
      structure to encapsulate XML into something that is both transport and
      data-format insensitive, without adding so much structure that it
      forestalls undreamt of uses.

      Thus much of the bloat of SOAP comes not from designing it to do
      certain things, but from bending over backwards not to design it to do
      *only* certain things. One of the big issues for the 1.1->1.2/XMLP
      move was how many design patterns it should support other than RPC,
      and a lot of the confusion about its being both a dessert topping and
      a floor wax comes from its being (((not (not a dessert topping)) and
      (not (not a floor wax))).

      -clay
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