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Re: XML.COM: How I Learned to Love daBomb

  • From: David Brownell <david-b@p...>
  • To: Al Snell <alaric@a...>,Michael Brennan <Michael_Brennan@a...>
  • Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2001 08:58:24 -0700

fix dabomb
> This isn't quite true, ONC-RPC has come with Unix machines for years
> now... People usually didn't realise they had a nice reliable fast
> portable RPC toolkit that came with their system, but that's because the
> software industry is still very very *bad*. So few architects (for it is
> architects who should choose stuff like protocols for interconnection)
> actually bothered to find out what's out there. This is not the fault of
> technology - it's a cultural problem in the software industry.

Some very reasonable architects observed the RPC wars
(now being re-instantiated in XML :) and, for very good
reasons, fled from them.  I don't know that it was "cultural"
so much as "political" or in some cases "religious".

CORBA was an attempt to fix the limitations of the ONC
and DCE flavors of RPC by bringing in the notion of
reusable components, which is what most systems architects
wanted all along.  (Except for those few designing tightly
coupled OS services, like filesystems and signon protocols.
HTTP isn't quite a filesystem, Passport isn't quite an open
and secure signon protocol ...)

To me, one of the more perplexing things about this "web
services" buzz is that it seems so retrograde.  Network services
have indeed been possible (on at least UNIX :) for decades
now, and it isn't clear to me that SOAP is much of a change
except maybe with respect to marketing (and technical
details that are, in the big picture, minor).

- Dave


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