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148Re: [soap-newbies] New Message: Comments on WSDL

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  • Dave Winer
    Nov 5, 2001
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      I don't know what it means for WSDL to be "too static" -- since you're
      saying that's what I think, I guess I'd better understand what you mean by
      that. ;->

      The problem is this -- in a dynamic environment, I can't automatically
      generate WSDL because while I may know the number of incoming params, I have
      no idea what their type is. Only the programmer knows. And the script may be
      able to handle lots of different types. Dynamic environments such as our
      Frontier have built-in type coercion. Same thing is true for return values.
      Without forcing a new constraint on programmers, which I don't want to do,
      there's no way to know what the type of the return value is.

      So in order for WSDL to work in a dynamic environment as a server the
      programmer has to write some docs. I suppose you could write the docs in
      WSDL, but English works better for me, both as a writer and a reader. In all
      likelihood I have to write the docs anyway, so why not stop there.

      Somehow we, as an industry, got on this treadmill. Some people at IBM and
      Microsoft decided that WSDL is a requirement, and they've got a lot of other
      people echoing them without a clue what they're talking about. It's the old
      tight-coupling vs loose-coupling thing again.

      Dave


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Doug Davis" <dug@...>
      To: <soap-newbies@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, November 05, 2001 10:41 AM
      Subject: Re: [soap-newbies] New Message: Comments on WSDL


      > Well, sure that stuff can work but one of the benefits
      > of WSDL (or supposed benefits 8-) is that it makes it
      > easier to do this stuff programmatically. I don't see
      > how WSDL solves it yet - I still believe that a human
      > will need to be heavily involved in the process, but
      > I guess I always hoped that WSDL was just a step in the
      > process of coming up with the solution that will not
      > require a human. We're not there yet, and probably
      > not that close - but people are trying. Docs, samples
      > and mailing lists are a fall-back solution to me.
      >
      > It is interesting that you see WSDL as too static, but
      > Docs and samples are not. Seems like WSDL could change
      > just as often (and probably with less headaches) than
      > docs/samples.
      >
      > -Dug
      >
      > ps. Again - my opinions! 8-)
      >
      >
      > "Dave Winer" <dave@...> on 11/05/2001 01:31:19 PM
      >
      > Please respond to soap-newbies@yahoogroups.com
      >
      > To: <soap-newbies@yahoogroups.com>
      > cc:
      > Subject: Re: [soap-newbies] New Message: Comments on WSDL
      >
      >
      >
      > Good question!
      >
      > 1. Docs.
      >
      > 2. Sample code.
      >
      > 3. A mail list.
      >
      > Now a philosophical question. Why do people ask this question so often. Is
      > it a mystery? Isn't this how it's always worked?
      >
      > Dave
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Doug Davis" <dug@...>
      > To: <soap-newbies@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Monday, November 05, 2001 10:27 AM
      > Subject: Re: [soap-newbies] New Message: Comments on WSDL
      >
      >
      > > Well, let's continue this then with the assumptions you've
      > > mentioned: everything is dynamic and it costs a lot to
      > > produce something static (like WSDL).
      > > If I'm a client and I want to talk to your getQuote service
      > > (ignore for a moment how I know you're even offering it),
      > > how do I know what to send? You're not going to provide me
      > > with something like WSDL (too static), so how do I know what
      > > parameters your getQuote takes? Or what headers you're
      > > expecting?
      > > -Dug
      > >
      > >
      > > "Dave Winer" <dave@...> on 11/05/2001 12:47:13 PM
      > >
      > > Please respond to soap-newbies@yahoogroups.com
      > >
      > > To: <soap-newbies@yahoogroups.com>
      > > cc:
      > > Subject: Re: [soap-newbies] New Message: Comments on WSDL
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Doug, please consider that I believe point 6 to be true (and perhaps the
      > > most important of the points). Therefore I'm not going to propose
      > something
      > > here -- because I believe that IDLs make a lot of exclusionary
      > assumptions
      > > about the kind of language and runtime environment a developer is using.
      > I
      > > don't happen to use an environment that can make good use of them, or
      > > generate them automatically, and I'm far from alone in that -- most Web
      > > application environments are dynamic -- you don't know the types of the
      > > parameters and can't without adding a lot of overhead for app
      developers.
      > > Java and .Net are different, they're static environments, more power to
      > you
      > > if you like programming that way -- but I like to let the environment do
      > a
      > > lot of work for me in handing a type coercion. I'm not going back to
      > static
      > > environments. Dave
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > From: "Doug Davis" <dug@...>
      > > To: <soap-newbies@yahoogroups.com>
      > > Sent: Monday, November 05, 2001 9:07 AM
      > > Subject: Re: [soap-newbies] New Message: Comments on WSDL
      > >
      > >
      > > > (Speaking just for myself - ignore the mail address 8-)
      > > >
      > > > Dave wrote:
      > > > >It can only work in static environments such as Java and .Net and not
      > in
      > > > >dynamic environments that are popular with Web developers, including
      > but
      > > > not
      > > > >limited to Perl, Python, PHP, and UserLand Frontier.
      > > >
      > > > If WSDL does not work in a particular use-case then propose something
      > > > that will - if its good enough people (including IBM and MS) I'm sure
      > > will
      > > > be interesting in playing too.
      > > >
      > > > >Today WSDL is not a basis for interop. If there is interop it's only
      > > > >between Java and .Net.
      > > >
      > > > I don't believe the guys on SOAPBuilders would agree with this - I'm
      > > > pretty sure there are other SOAP processors joining in.
      > > >
      > > > >There can be no significant support for this by independent
      developers
      > > > >because it shuts them out.
      > > >
      > > > Whether or not it shuts people out is no indication of whether the
      > > > technology/ideas behind WSDL are good or not.
      > > > I'm no huge fan of WSDL - but it seems to fit a need - and I'm sure
      > when
      > > > (not "if" but "when") something else comes along if it is better than
      > > WSDL
      > > > people will try to support it.
      > > >
      > > > >These companies want the endorsement of the W3C. They're trying to
      > > > redefine
      > > > >the rules so that only their products can satisfy them. This is a
      good
      > > > test of
      > > > >the W3C's independence from the big companies.
      > > > >Philosophically this faceoff is directly comparable to the
      > > tightly-coupled
      > > >
      > > > >and managed hypertext environments that were theorized before the
      > > > >loosely-coupled HTML-HTTP web came along, and wiped out all the
      > > theories.
      > > > SOAP
      > > > >alone, without the tight coupling promised by WSDL, is being widely
      > > > deployed,
      > > > >without Microsoft and IBM. This must irk them. But don't thwart the
      > > spirit
      > > > of
      > > > >the Web, it's still alive, in this venue.
      > > > >Tell Microsoft and IBM to go back to the drawing board. It's the
      right
      > > > >thing to do, maybe next time around they won't create such a
      > > self-serving
      > > > >specification that goes against the interests of independent
      > developers.
      > > >
      > > > So what's your proposal? Or, if you've offered one why is it not
      > > > taking off?
      > > >
      > > > -Dug
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      > > > soap-newbies-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
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      > >
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