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5789State of the SOAP (was: Is SOAP::Lite still in development?)

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  • Byrne Reese
    Jan 15, 2007
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      I do actively follow the group. I rarely have time to respond however
      between work, a kid, and a number of other projects I am actively
      engaged in.

      I tend to develop SOAP::Lite in bursts when need and opportunity
      converge and I have a god chunk of time to work with.

      As with any open source project, it is always looking for help and
      looking for members from the community to take the initiative to
      contribute (some have, and I should go back and incorporate some of
      their patches).

      I could write a State of the SOAP address to give the community a sense
      of what's up... if I did, it would go something like this:

      The SOAP protocol is still in wide use today as it has become native to
      so many development platforms.SOAP itself has also become an incredibly
      stable protocol. The WS-* Wars of the early millenium seem to have died
      down, and the few truly useful extensions to SOAP have been selected by
      the market.

      Most SOAP toolkits as well have stablized along with the protocol.
      Relatively speaking, the status of this SOAP toolkit is fair to good.

      SOAP::Lite works with the majority of endpoints, but has a number of
      interoperability issues with more modern implementations of SOAP servers
      and clients. The task of keeping SOAP::Lite up to date is a difficult
      one. The source code is notoriously complex, a mark of the ingenious
      Paul who created SOAP:Lite, and as a result baffles most inexperienced
      Perl programmers, and indeed may even frighten them off. I myself am
      given the highest respect in my office for signing up to maintain the
      module - I work with some of the brightest and most experienced Perl
      programmers in the industry and they all look at SOAP::Lite in awe.

      But I am not trying to inflate my ego, I am trying to set the stage for
      what should be next for Perl's only SOAP toolkit.

      If SOAP::Lite as a project is to attract more contributing authors, it
      is essential that the SOAP::Lite code base become easier to work with.
      SOAP::Lite could benefit a great deal from shedding a lot of the code
      written before the protocol had really matured, before the era of the
      WS-i, before a time where other toolkits and servers had agreed upon and
      embraced a set of best practices. SOAP::Lite should shift to become
      document-driven, as opposed to RPC driven.

      SOAP::Lite needs a re-write. SOAP::Lite needs to live up to its name of
      "Lite." SOAP::Lite should be built from the ground up to conform to the
      WS-i's requirements. It should be built first and foremost around a
      wicked WSDL parser and engine. It should be made more modular so that
      its components can be more easily swapped out for newer and better
      implementations without disrupting users and developers. It should take
      advantage of the number of perl modules that have evolved since
      SOAP::Lite was conceived to reduce code complexity and obscurity.

      SOAP::Lite needs your help. SOAP::Lite needs a group of 2-3 passionate
      people to take a fresh look at this critical toolkit for Perl developers
      and to usher into a new age of utilization, community growth, usage, and
      utility.

      Undertaking a project like this is not a trivial task. It requires
      months and months of dedicated time and attention. And then it must also
      be supported and maintained.

      This project would not start from ground zero. There is a vision and a
      plethora of tried and true code already within SOAP::Lite that shouldn't
      be needlessly thrown away. What we endeavor to do is make SOAP::Lite
      easier to grok and easier to work with. What we hope to create is a new
      module, called SOAP::Easy.

      Byrne Reese
      Lead Developer and Maintainer, SOAP::Lite
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