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159Re: New Message: Comments on WSDL

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  • will_conant@hotmail.com
    Nov 5, 2001
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      My first response to WSDL was, "What's the point of this, I'll still
      need documentation." Then, I had to write some SOAP stuff with Java.
      I ended up using GLUE from The Mind Electric (a great product, btw).
      Now I understand WSDL. It comes down to this (before you read any
      further, this is my opinion and not nessisarily the opinion of the
      creators of WSDL or whatever):

      Java and C# are statically typed and, therefore, lame. Consequently,
      if people want to interact with other SOAP services from Java or C#,
      they're going to be coercing and casting types all over the place and
      their '9' and '0' keys are going to wear out.

      WSDL fixes this by allowing programmers in statically typed languages
      to magically generate types for use with SOAP services.

      My question is this: why is this a bad thing? Just because a service
      publishes a WSDL file, doesn't meen that you can't connect to it with
      a more dynamic language. How does WSDL affect interop?

      (I have a few ideas as to why WSDL is philisophically a bad thing,
      but what I'm interested in here is if it is technically a bad thing.)

      --- In soap-newbies@y..., webmaster@u... wrote:
      > A new message was posted:
      >
      > Address: http://www.soapware.org/discuss/msgReader$21
      >
      > By: Dave Winer (dave@u...)
      >
      > <i>There's a discussion among the leadership of the W3C on the
      future of WSDL, which is an acronym for Web Services Description
      Language. The discussion itself is off the record, but my point of
      view is not. Here are some comments I posted over the weekend.</i>
      > <ol>
      > <li>WSDL was designed in secret behind closed doors by IBM and
      Microsoft, without participation of independent developers.<p>
      > <li>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.<p>
      > <li>Today WSDL is not a basis for interop. If there is interop it's
      only between Java and .Net.<p>
      > <li>There can be no significant support for this by independent
      developers because it shuts them out.<p>
      > <li>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.
      <p>
      > <li>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. <p>
      > <li>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. <p>
      > </ol>
      > Dave
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