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152Re: [soap-newbies] New Message: Comments on WSDL

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  • Dave Winer
    Nov 5, 2001
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      Yes that's true and nice, but they've got the analysts and a few developers
      hoodwinked into thinking it isn't really Web Services if it isn't Web
      Services Description Language. Most of the people they have convinced are
      either very confused or very clueless. I wanted to signal to independent
      developers that it's time to get going with killer apps and not wait for the
      BigCo's to get off their butts and figure out what this stuff is good for.
      Just Say Soap. Dave


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Doug Davis" <dug@...>
      To: <soap-newbies@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, November 05, 2001 11:10 AM
      Subject: Re: [soap-newbies] New Message: Comments on WSDL


      > Well, I can't speak to that one. But think of it this
      > way - if WSDL is a waste of time at least it'll keep
      > those meddlers out of your hair (for a while anyway).
      > 8-)
      > -Dug
      >
      >
      >
      > "Dave Winer" <dave@...> on 11/05/2001 02:04:20 PM
      >
      > Please respond to soap-newbies@yahoogroups.com
      >
      > To: <soap-newbies@yahoogroups.com>
      > cc:
      > Subject: Re: [soap-newbies] New Message: Comments on WSDL
      >
      >
      >
      > No I wouldn't be happier -- sorry for being so difficult, but I have to
      > keep
      > referring to item #6.
      >
      > "6. 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."
      >
      > BTW, I tried doing an IDL [1] that could possibly work with dynamic
      > environments, and it was such a labor with so little love, I believe our
      > time is much better spent writing killer apps and worrying less about
      > synthetic hurdles that just postpone nirvana.
      >
      > Dave
      >
      > [1] http://www.xmlrpc.com/alidl
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Doug Davis" <dug@...>
      > To: <soap-newbies@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Monday, November 05, 2001 10:54 AM
      > Subject: Re: [soap-newbies] New Message: Comments on WSDL
      >
      >
      > > Ah, so its the static typing of data that you see
      > > as the real problem. So, if WSDL allowed you to
      > > specify a param (or return value) without specifying
      > > its type you'd be happier?
      > > -Dug
      > >
      > >
      > > "Dave Winer" <dave@...> on 11/05/2001 01:49:50 PM
      > >
      > > Please respond to soap-newbies@yahoogroups.com
      > >
      > > To: <soap-newbies@yahoogroups.com>
      > > cc:
      > > Subject: Re: [soap-newbies] New Message: Comments on WSDL
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > 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
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
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