Re: Typing and paranoia
On Fri, 06 Dec 2002 10:22:01 -0800, Paul Prescod <paul@p...> wrote: > Mike Champion wrote: > On the other hand, if the W3C invented a _particular_ binary format and said > that the SOAP specification can _also_ be used with that format then > interoperability would be possible and lock-in prevented. But the spec as > it is is wide open. > You didn't respond to my Quake UDP packet example. If I write up a mapping > from these packets to SOAP is Quake SOAP compliant? If so, then in what > sense does a declaration of SOAP compliance have any interoperability benefits? I've been pondering it :-) I honestly don't know. I'm not enthusiastic about the W3C inventing a binary format for the XML infoset or SOAP ... I just know that lots of people are noodling on it, and disagree with Tim B. that it is a bad idea in principle. It may not be a good idea in practice; maybe LOTS more playing in sandboxes is needed before standards are feasible. I just fear that if the W3C treats the idea as intrinsically evil, then the "standards" will come from a much less benign source. As for Quake/UDP and the Infoset ... I personally (speaking for NO ONE, not even some of my multiple personalities) think that a first step might be to draft a version of (or complement to, replacement for, I dunno) the Infoset spec that tightens up things so that specs such as SOAP could be *rigorously* based on an abstract "XML" data model [OK, "representation of what you get when you parse UnicodeWithAngleBrackets into something that DOM, XPath, and XQuery can work with"]. Such a "Son of Infoset" spec could then be a rigorous basis for a common data model underlying APIs, Schema languages, query languages, transformation languages, etc.... and perhaps one or more alternative serializations for specific application needs (e.g. wireless). The W3C Infoset as written does help the SOAP spec's rigor (at the expense of readability) by replacing somewhat handwavy definitions of its XML syntax with specific references to XML "information items." That doesn't help interop, AFAIK, for the usual "a refrigerator that says 'no Infoset-compliant items inside' is an Infoset" reasons. I suspect that the Quake example you mentioned falls in the same category, but don't know enough about it to assert that. [Yet another personality seizes control of the keyboard] I'm very sympathetic to the "W3C has no business westling the alligators, it should be draining the swamp" perspective about all this. I would not assert that the results to date shold reassure skeptics such as you (Paul P.) I do think that -- in part because of the inevitable hype overshoot/collapse phenomenon, and in part because of discussions by knowledgeable people in various neutral forums -- the Web services world is saner and more aligned with rational expectations than it was a year ago. But I also think that eternal vigilance and constant refactoring of assumptions and specificaitons is necessary to maintain the trend toward sanity.
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