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Re: SOAP::Lite query

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  • Tony Gravagno
    ... I hope I don t offend anyone using SOAP::Lite but I d to offer some personal observations. We were asked by a client over 5 years ago to provide a
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 1, 2008
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      --- sandeep sahane wrote:
      > As per my understanding of SOAP::Lite package, it is
      > an wonderful package I have seen till the date. I went
      > through the supports it provides and found that its
      > the package that we are looking for our project.

      I hope I don't offend anyone using SOAP::Lite but I'd to offer some
      personal observations.

      We were asked by a client over 5 years ago to provide a SOAP::Lite
      client to correspond to a SOAP::Lite service to which they needed to
      connect. My first question was "why does it need to be SOAP::Lite" and
      the answer was that the SOAP::Lite server required a SOAP::Lite
      client. This sort of defeats the whole purpose of web services
      compared to proprietary protocols, but the client had a need so we
      satisfied it. Observation 1: Lack of compatibility is an issue that
      should have affected the choice of this tool.

      The version back then was 0.55. We were recently asked to upgrade the
      client server, and long story made short, getting the latest v0.71 to
      work with the existing 0.55 client was beyond my skills. Advice
      provided here and by Paul Kulchenko, author of SOAP::Lite led to a
      solution.

      Observation 2: In 5 years the software has moved from 0.55 to 0.71,
      just 16 builds, not even a "release".
      Observation 3: There has never been a v1.0 release.
      Observation 4: To get an issue resolved I needed to commission the guy
      who wrote the software, someone who is gainfully employed and doesn't
      support this software for a living.
      Observation 5: Perl seems to be a dead or dying language, surpassed by
      PHP, Ruby, .NET, Java, and a resurgence in JavaScript. I lost a bet
      there because I thought the winner was going to be Perl, but the world
      moves on, and most Open Source software you see today is C, Java, and
      PHP - not Perl.

      So given these observations, and people are quite welcome to disagree
      with my conclusions, I personally believe SOAP::Lite is _not_ a
      suitable tool for new development.

      Please don't confuse that with "dislike". The software works for the
      most part, but if it doesn't, then you're in trouble. As mentioned
      above, I've had a number of exchanges with Paul and he is very
      professional and was very gracious in offering his assistance. I have
      nothing but good things to say about him and the core of the software.

      But as time moves on, some commercial and open source products die, and
      it looks like this is one of them. So it's time to move on beyond them.

      What are alternatives? .NET easily supports Web Services, client and
      server, in many ways. For PHP there is NuSOAP, though there are many
      issues with that too. I recommend looking at that (SourceForge) but as
      with Perl and SOAP::Lite, be prepared to get into the NuSOAP code
      yourself because it looks to me like that project isn't well maintained
      and the author (or the one guy who supports it now) is getting burned
      out.

      If you're going to do web services, do not choose Open Source Software
      purely because OSS is Free - as in "no cost". Choose OSS because you
      know that you can take responsibility for building on the source and
      improving the code. Do not choose OSS, especially an old package like
      SOAP::Lite if you do not have skills with Perl or web services and you
      know you're going to need to rely on other people for help. That's
      asking for trouble.

      Some OSS tools are high quality and have large and lively developer
      teams. With those tools you have more freedom to take without giving,
      but of course you should always give where possible anyway. The "Free"
      part of OSS is not "free beer" or "free lunch", it means you are free
      to see the code and improve on it. That will take lots of your time
      with SOAP::Lite. If you have time to learn, then yes, it is also no-
      cost software. If you do not, then like myself, you should be willing
      to pay people to work on the code for you. For this package, I was
      lucky that there was anyone qualified to work on the software.

      So, my recommendation is to find software that you can maintain
      yourself, that has a large development team who can maintain it for
      you, and be prepared to pay people for their services when you get
      stuck - especially with this package.

      I hope that helps.
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