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

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  • Julian Bond
    In article , Dave Winer writes ... Isn t this back to front? It s the programmer producing the
    Message 1 of 25 , Nov 5, 2001
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      In article <0c3c01c1662a$b00d0f30$33a1dc40@murphy>, Dave Winer
      <dave@...> writes
      >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.

      Isn't this back to front? It's the programmer producing the server that
      needs to generate the WSDL and presumably they know what types the
      parameters are?

      And as for the reader of the WSDL, writing the client, they already know
      how to convert the SOAP types to their local internal types.

      If this is an argument about strong typing, last time I looked both SOAP
      and XML-RPC were inherently string typed, and weakly typed environments
      like PHP already have to jump through hoops to cope with them. Adding an
      additional translation layer to dynamically connect to a server via WSDL
      looks hard but not impossible. The issue of typing is no different from
      what we're already having to cope with.

      This also ignores the end-point definitions in WSDL. Once you've built
      the client that connects to a specific server, WSDL could provide a
      mechanism to redirect to a new instance of the server without any other
      configuration.

      In article <9s6r0h+9bd@...>, tblanchard2@... writes
      >From: "Doug Davis" <dug@u...>
      >Incidentally - in your first rant - I could replace the phrase WSDL
      >with SOAP and add Userland to the list of company names and you'd
      >pretty well capture how I feel about SOAP.

      LOL! And even more so with XML-RPC, but that's another story ;-)

      --
      Julian Bond email: julian_bond@...
      CV/Resume: http://www.voidstar.com/cv/
      WebLog: http://www.voidstar.com/
      M: +44 (0)77 5907 2173 T: +44 (0)192 0412 433
      ICQ:33679568 tag:So many words, so little time
    • Simon Fell
      Dave, I can follow your points except this one, how is an english document that describes how to call getQuote any less coupled than a chunk of XML that
      Message 2 of 25 , Nov 5, 2001
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        Dave,

        I can follow your points except this one, how is an english document
        that describes how to call getQuote any less coupled than a chunk of
        XML that describes how to call getQuote ?

        Tx
        Simon

        --- In soap-newbies@y..., "Dave Winer" <dave@u...> wrote:
        > 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
      • will_conant@hotmail.com
        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
        Message 3 of 25 , 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
        • patrick.d.logan@intel.com
          ... Someone else pointed out that static languages benefit from WSDL more than dynamic languages. I guess. But programs in languages like Java could just type
          Message 4 of 25 , Nov 5, 2001
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            --- In soap-newbies@y..., "Simon Fell" <soap@z...> wrote:
            >

            > I can follow your points except this one, how is an english document
            > that describes how to call getQuote any less coupled than a chunk of
            > XML that describes how to call getQuote?

            Someone else pointed out that static languages benefit from WSDL more
            than dynamic languages. I guess. But programs in languages like Java
            could just type cast an Object to whatever type is expected.

            The thing I like best about WSDL is that tools are able to hide it
            from me.

            Whether we have WSDL or not, the thing I really want a service to
            include is a set of tests I can read and copy from. If the tests work,
            and there is a test that is similar to the code I want to write, my
            job is much easier. This is better than, but not a full replacement of
            more traditional documentation.

            BTW it is trivial to write a distributed system in a dynamic language
            like Smalltalk or Java (note one is dynamic and the other is
            static). Both language support enough reflection to automate the
            task. It is easier in Smalltalk, but not by as much as I would have
            thought before trying it in Java.

            A "more static" IDL like WSDL is not so much of a burden, and to the
            degree it aids popular static languages like Java, I am not really
            against it. If it makes life easier for the hordes of static language
            programmers, then I will benefit from using all the services they
            provide!

            -Patrick Logan
          • rubys@us.ibm.com
            ... Shh... don t tell the independent developers working on SOAP::Lite or PHPXMLP or any of the folks at ActiveState. ;-)
            Message 5 of 25 , Nov 5, 2001
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              --- 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...)
              >
              > <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>There can be no significant support for this by independent
              > developers because it shuts them out.<p>

              Shh... don't tell the independent developers working on SOAP::Lite
              or PHPXMLP or any of the folks at ActiveState.

              ;-)
            • Dave Winer
              Hi Sam -- it d be great to see a Howto for Perl and PHP programmers. It s easy to say you re doing something ugly and fragile. I ve seen it done many times.
              Message 6 of 25 , Nov 5, 2001
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                Hi Sam -- it'd be great to see a Howto for Perl and PHP programmers.

                It's easy to say you're doing something ugly and fragile. I've seen it done
                many times.

                Have a nice day.

                Dave


                ----- Original Message -----
                From: <rubys@...>
                To: <soap-newbies@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Monday, November 05, 2001 6:48 PM
                Subject: [soap-newbies] Re: New Message: Comments on WSDL


                > --- 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...)
                > >
                > > <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>There can be no significant support for this by independent
                > > developers because it shuts them out.<p>
                >
                > Shh... don't tell the independent developers working on SOAP::Lite
                > or PHPXMLP or any of the folks at ActiveState.
                >
                > ;-)
                >
                >
                > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > soap-newbies-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                >
                >
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                >
                >
              • rubys@us.ibm.com
                ... From http://www.soaplite.com/: use SOAP::Lite; print SOAP::Lite - service( http://www.xmethods.net/sd/StockQuoteService.wsdl ) - getQuote( MSFT ); ...
                Message 7 of 25 , Nov 5, 2001
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                  --- In soap-newbies@y..., "Dave Winer" <dave@u...> wrote:
                  > Hi Sam -- it'd be great to see a Howto for Perl and PHP
                  > programmers.

                  From http://www.soaplite.com/:

                  use SOAP::Lite;

                  print SOAP::Lite
                  -> service('http://www.xmethods.net/sd/StockQuoteService.wsdl')
                  -> getQuote('MSFT');

                  > It's easy to say you're doing something ugly and fragile.
                  > I've seen it done many times.

                  Huh?

                  > Have a nice day.

                  Back atcha. ;-)

                  > Dave

                  - Sam
                • Dave Winer
                  1. Did you read the other messages in this thread? 2. Is http://www.xmethods.net/sd/StockQuoteService.wsdl describing a Perl app? 2. If so, how did the WSDL
                  Message 8 of 25 , Nov 5, 2001
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                    1. Did you read the other messages in this thread?

                    2. Is http://www.xmethods.net/sd/StockQuoteService.wsdl describing a Perl
                    app?

                    2. If so, how did the WSDL file get created?

                    Dave


                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: <rubys@...>
                    To: <soap-newbies@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Monday, November 05, 2001 7:03 PM
                    Subject: [soap-newbies] Re: New Message: Comments on WSDL


                    > --- In soap-newbies@y..., "Dave Winer" <dave@u...> wrote:
                    > > Hi Sam -- it'd be great to see a Howto for Perl and PHP
                    > > programmers.
                    >
                    > From http://www.soaplite.com/:
                    >
                    > use SOAP::Lite;
                    >
                    > print SOAP::Lite
                    > -> service('http://www.xmethods.net/sd/StockQuoteService.wsdl')
                    > -> getQuote('MSFT');
                    >
                    > > It's easy to say you're doing something ugly and fragile.
                    > > I've seen it done many times.
                    >
                    > Huh?
                    >
                    > > Have a nice day.
                    >
                    > Back atcha. ;-)
                    >
                    > > Dave
                    >
                    > - Sam
                    >
                    >
                    > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                    > soap-newbies-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    >
                    >
                  • rubys@us.ibm.com
                    Short answers first, then a more complete discussion. ... Yes. ... I don t know. But you will find a similar Perl app on
                    Message 9 of 25 , Nov 5, 2001
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                      Short answers first, then a more complete discussion.

                      --- In soap-newbies@y..., "Dave Winer" <dave@u...> wrote:
                      > 1. Did you read the other messages in this thread?

                      Yes.

                      > 2. Is http://www.xmethods.net/sd/StockQuoteService.wsdl describing
                      > a Perl app?

                      I don't know. But you will find a similar Perl app on

                      http://aspn.activestate.com/ASPN/Reference/Products/PerlEx/WebService
                      s.html

                      > 2. If so, how did the WSDL file get created?

                      http://localhost/PerlEx/soap.plex?wsdl.

                      > Dave

                      Now for the more complete answers.

                      (1) I was responding primarily to your original self described
                      rant. It states no significant support for WSDL is possible. I
                      view consuming WSDL as significant. If for no other reason, it
                      saves you from typing the parameter names in languages which do
                      positional parameter notation.

                      (2) It is fair to point out that additional information is
                      required over and above what dynamic languages require in order
                      to interoperate successfully with less capable languages (it is no
                      secret that I'm a big fan of scripting languages). One could take
                      the position that that's the problem for the users of such
                      languages to each deal with separately.

                      (3) All other things being equal, those environments which make it
                      easy for a larger set of clients to interoperate out of the box
                      will be advantaged over those that don't.

                      - Sam
                    • Dave Winer
                      Forgive me for simplifying the argument -- at least I made one -- the WSDL advocates just snow everyone and it seems no one questions the wisdom of this
                      Message 10 of 25 , Nov 5, 2001
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                        Forgive me for simplifying the argument -- at least I made one -- the WSDL
                        advocates just snow everyone and it seems no one questions the wisdom of
                        this direction. You say you like scripting languages, so stand up for them.
                        Good night Sam. Dave


                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: <rubys@...>
                        To: <soap-newbies@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Monday, November 05, 2001 7:54 PM
                        Subject: [soap-newbies] Re: New Message: Comments on WSDL


                        > Short answers first, then a more complete discussion.
                        >
                        > --- In soap-newbies@y..., "Dave Winer" <dave@u...> wrote:
                        > > 1. Did you read the other messages in this thread?
                        >
                        > Yes.
                        >
                        > > 2. Is http://www.xmethods.net/sd/StockQuoteService.wsdl describing
                        > > a Perl app?
                        >
                        > I don't know. But you will find a similar Perl app on
                        >
                        > http://aspn.activestate.com/ASPN/Reference/Products/PerlEx/WebService
                        > s.html
                        >
                        > > 2. If so, how did the WSDL file get created?
                        >
                        > http://localhost/PerlEx/soap.plex?wsdl.
                        >
                        > > Dave
                        >
                        > Now for the more complete answers.
                        >
                        > (1) I was responding primarily to your original self described
                        > rant. It states no significant support for WSDL is possible. I
                        > view consuming WSDL as significant. If for no other reason, it
                        > saves you from typing the parameter names in languages which do
                        > positional parameter notation.
                        >
                        > (2) It is fair to point out that additional information is
                        > required over and above what dynamic languages require in order
                        > to interoperate successfully with less capable languages (it is no
                        > secret that I'm a big fan of scripting languages). One could take
                        > the position that that's the problem for the users of such
                        > languages to each deal with separately.
                        >
                        > (3) All other things being equal, those environments which make it
                        > easy for a larger set of clients to interoperate out of the box
                        > will be advantaged over those that don't.
                        >
                        > - Sam
                        >
                        >
                        > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                        > soap-newbies-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                        >
                        >
                      • rubys@us.ibm.com
                        ... I do more than say I like scripting languages: http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/aw.nsf/techbios/912318FCF05B7F1B8825676 700837E76
                        Message 11 of 25 , Nov 5, 2001
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                          --- In soap-newbies@y..., "Dave Winer" <dave@u...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Forgive me for simplifying the argument -- at least I made one --
                          > the WSDL advocates just snow everyone and it seems no one
                          > questions the wisdom of this direction. You say you like
                          > scripting languages, so stand up for them.

                          I do more than say I like scripting languages:

                          http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/aw.nsf/techbios/912318FCF05B7F1B8825676
                          700837E76
                          http://www.php.net/credits.php
                          http://www.mozilla.org/js/language/E262-3.pdf

                          Shortly, you should also see an announcement from ActiveState.

                          I am also a WSDL advocate.

                          > Good night Sam. Dave

                          I'm not done coding yet. ;-)

                          - Sam
                        • david@drumkit.net
                          Isn t it ironic that Microsoft would produce WSDL with tight coupling as Dave describes after they did the variant data type in COM? Aren t tight coupling
                          Message 12 of 25 , Nov 6, 2001
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                            Isn't it ironic that Microsoft would produce WSDL with "tight
                            coupling" as Dave describes after they did the variant data type in
                            COM? Aren't tight coupling and strict typing the same here? I
                            thought we learned the lessons about void * and variant years ago?
                            When we have a choice, wouldn't we be better off to choose the high
                            road?

                            Isn't WSDL largely functioning the way query interface did in COM?
                            By providing a way for programs to interrogate an interface at
                            runtime, without human intervention?

                            Isn't the idea with WSDL also to move the top layer client interface
                            to a higher level? You can see this with the vbscript sample that I
                            have here:

                            http://www.watsondesign.org/gallery/windowsxp/aac

                            The WSDL precludes _me_ from having to pack the XML myself and fire
                            it down the wire or deal with any bizarre syntactical machinations.
                            I thought moving these things up to that level would boost their
                            adoption - particularly by the millions of VB programmers out there?
                            I'm not one of them but I hacked this temperature sample together in
                            about 10 minutes based on a nice article at MSDN and xmethods
                            interface description.

                            By the way, isn't VBScript a dynamic environment by Dave's
                            definition? AFAIK, this is possible from any language that talks
                            windows scripting host and COM. The example I present here is all
                            completely built-in to windows xp, in a silimar fashion to the way
                            any OSX user could do the same type of functionality out of the box.

                            The commentary about doc is an interesting one. I don't believe that
                            WSDL is good doc for the average coder either but product's like
                            Glue from the Mind Electric provide a solution that precludes the
                            server coder from needing to write mass quantities of his own doc
                            (see the 4th screenshot down on this page, long URL - I'm sure it
                            will wrap):

                            http://www.themindelectric.com/products/glue/releases/GLUE-
                            1.2/docs/glue/guide/console.html

                            Finally, does PHP fit Dave's definition of a dynamic environment?

                            This sure seems to handle WSDL rather nicely:

                            http://dietrich.ganx4.com/soapx4/

                            In the end, I've enjoyed working with XML-RPC and SOAP _and_ WSDL. I
                            like WSDL for the ease with which my clients can interface with my
                            server implementation. AFAIC, the higher the client layer gets, the
                            better.

                            -dave

                            --- In soap-newbies@y..., "Dave Winer" <dave@u...> wrote:
                            > 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@u...>
                            > To: <soap-newbies@y...>
                            > 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@u...> on 11/05/2001 01:49:50 PM
                            > >
                            > > Please respond to soap-newbies@y...
                            > >
                            > > To: <soap-newbies@y...>
                            > > 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@u...>
                            > > To: <soap-newbies@y...>
                            > > 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@u...> on 11/05/2001 01:31:19 PM
                            > > >
                            > > > Please respond to soap-newbies@y...
                            > > >
                            > > > To: <soap-newbies@y...>
                            > > > 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@u...>
                            > > > To: <soap-newbies@y...>
                            > > > 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@u...> on 11/05/2001 12:47:13 PM
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Please respond to soap-newbies@y...
                            > > > >
                            > > > > To: <soap-newbies@y...>
                            > > > > 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@u...>
                            > > > > To: <soap-newbies@y...>
                            > > > > 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@y...
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                            > > > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
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                            > > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
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                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                            > > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
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                            > > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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                            > > >
                            > > >
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                            > > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                            > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
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                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                            > > > soap-newbies-unsubscribe@y...
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                            > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
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                            > > >
                            > >
                            > >
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                            > > soap-newbies-unsubscribe@y...
                            > >
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                          • delza@alliances.org
                            OK, first off there s no technical reason why dynamic languages can t use WSDL (write and/or consume). I ve seen pointers to solutions for PHP and Perl,
                            Message 13 of 25 , Nov 6, 2001
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                              OK, first off there's no technical reason why dynamic languages can't
                              use WSDL (write and/or consume). I've seen pointers to solutions for
                              PHP and Perl, here's one for Python:

                              http://www-105.ibm.com/developerworks/education.nsf/webservices-onlinecourse-bytitle/D092605075D1D67D86256A7E0042432D?OpenDocument

                              Note, most (maybe all?) of these languages already have mappings for
                              OMG IDL (CORBA). I know the Python mappings are pretty ugly, but they
                              do exist and can be used with CORBA and other ORBs, which are
                              significantly more hairy than WSDL.

                              WSDL and UDDI are basically attempts to strap on the infrastructure
                              that comes with CORBA. They're significantly easier to use than CORBA
                              (from dynamic OR static languages), but there's nothing really new or
                              earth-shattering about them (besides the Web Services(tm) meme...).
                              People have been doing RPC in various flavors for a long time now, and
                              XML can help with different aspects of that, which is cool.

                              Now, whether you *need* WSDL or UDDI is a matter of what you're doing
                              and what kind of tools you like to use. Like everything else in
                              computing the correct answer is "it depends." They are tools in the
                              toolbox and won't fit every problem. I'm not a big fan, but I know
                              they're there if I have a problem which fits.

                              A final point. Maybe Microsoft and IBM did create this in a smoke
                              filled room. That's how a lot of XML specs are getting written these
                              days. SAX was written by XML developers privy to the XML-DEV list
                              without consulting any standards bodies. These things all have their
                              place--if they're useful people will use them. Just don't believe the
                              hype (which applies to pretty much everything).

                              --Dethe
                            • Alan Kent
                              Some completely personal opinions on some of the points mentioned. I am not trying to be argumentative, but I am afraid I disagree with many of the points you
                              Message 14 of 25 , Nov 6, 2001
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                                Some completely personal opinions on some of the points mentioned.
                                I am not trying to be argumentative, but I am afraid I disagree
                                with many of the points you have made.

                                > 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.

                                This one will always be a difficult area. There will always be
                                data impedence when trying to get dynamically typed languages
                                and non-dynamically typed languages working together. If you
                                make it all dynamic, then supporting staticlly typed languages
                                will be harder. Which is more important? Well, there is clearly
                                no single correct answer to that one!

                                I think you are trying to propose that instead of agreeing to the
                                type of data items being sent. Personally I think this is a very
                                bad model. It has the potential to greatly decrease interoperability.
                                It requires both the client and server to implement exactly the
                                same automatic type coercion rules or else undefined results may
                                occur. Eg: think about how many date formats there are. If its
                                sent as 1/2/01 from a US client to an Australian server, then
                                the US end may say its M/D/Y where as the Australia server will
                                say its D/M/Y. I think for interoperability its important that
                                at the protocol level, values are sent through with correct types.
                                Relying on the protocol to 'get it right' is dangerous when dealing
                                with multiple language implementations.

                                Note that the MS Soap toolkit dynamically loads a WSDL file from a
                                site then allows dynamically typed VBScript to talk to the site.
                                I have been using it without problem talking to a SOAP server I have
                                been developing. So I think your claim that "it can only work in static
                                environments" is incorrect. It may be that it works better in static
                                environments, but it is already working today in dynamic environments.

                                > Today WSDL is not a basis for interop. If there is interop it's only
                                > between Java and .Net.

                                Again, *I* belive this statement to be incorrect. There are many other
                                SOAP implementor tool kits using WSDL files. There is even a group
                                talking about doing some WSDL interoperability testing.

                                > There can be no significant support for this by independent developers
                                > because it shuts them out.

                                Again, I am not sure exactly who you are talking about, but there
                                are many SOAP implementors on the interop list who are using WSDL.
                                Its certainly not only IBM and Java. My toolkit for example
                                relies on WSDL files. I tried to do a purely dynamic approach,
                                but it failed (it was early on mind you) because not all SOAP
                                implementations sent adequate type information in the packets
                                (it was optional).

                                > 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.

                                Again, I would have to disagree I am afraid. We develop large scale
                                web sites for organisations. We are not a big company - we are actually
                                a consulting group that is a part of a University.

                                We find the biggest problem that most sites have had is the loosely
                                coupled nature of HTML. The world is much better than it was here these
                                days, but we always strongly recommend against using HTML as your
                                native format for data where you have any reasonable sized site. We
                                always recommend using some format that can be rigerously cross checked
                                and managed. The loose nature of HTML is very bad for managing data.
                                Its great for user interfaces, but bad for data management. We always
                                recommend using some other rigourous, long-life mechanism for relating
                                information (IDs etc) and dynamically form the URLs from that.

                                So I am not sure what you mean by "wiped out all the theories". I agree
                                that the initial mad rush for the web ignored all the theoretical
                                background. However, I think most people developing large sites
                                acknowledge that using loosely coupled URLs directly is not the way
                                to go. It creates serious and real maintenance problems. So I would
                                use the analogy in the exact oposite way. To avoid all the problems
                                pepole have had with loosly coupled systmes such as HTML, put structure in from the beginning!

                                > 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.

                                Out of curiosity, who is 'widely deploying SOAP'? Its hard to keep
                                abreast of all the activities going on around the place. I am genuinely
                                interested in who is 'widely deploying' it, and what toolkits are
                                being used.

                                Personally, I find WSDL files horrible. I find them confusing,
                                difficult to understand, etc. However, the thing I like *is* the
                                static nature. Its a contract between the client and the server
                                about how to agree to communicate. You do not have to use a WSDL
                                file - but the static nature of data types is extremely valuable
                                as it stops all sorts of messy automatic data coercion problems
                                (eg: you sent me a float but I expected an integer, should I
                                round up or down or report an error?)

                                Alan
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