W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > April 2002

Re: FW: draft findings on Unsafe Methods (whenToUseGet-7)

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@apache.org>
Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2002 17:14:22 -0700
Cc: <www-tag@w3.org>
To: "David Orchard" <dorchard@bea.com>
Message-Id: <3A4B8360-5718-11D6-9D0B-000393753936@apache.org>
> The reason that SOAP remains and grows at the W3C is because it and 
> related
> specifications are heavy and responsible users of web machinery, and the
> membership of the W3C has given strong endorsement of Web Services
> development occuring at the W3C.  I had hoped to stay on the technical
> merits of things, but you've openned the Pandora's box of Process.  As
> you're prepared to go there, I am compelled to follow.

I am not part of that Process.  Pay to play, remember.

> For the W3C to NOT do Web Services, it would mean that many members of the
> W3C - as at least represented at the web services workshop and the 64 
> paper
> submissions - would be ignored.  And that W3C Process would be ignored.  
> We
> have already had this debate, and the W3C Team and Membership have created
> the Web Services Activity, Descriptions, and Architecture Groups.  And the
> W3C will create more Web Services Working Groups.  The W3C has a
> well-defined process, and it was followed.

Fine, so follow it.  In areas where a working group defines protocols that
contradict or violate the architectural basis of the Web and the protocols
that make up the Web, including HTTP and URI, the TAG has the right and
responsibility to challenge that working group to come up with a solution
that doesn't violate those protocols.  That is why we were ELECTED by the
W3C membership.

> I don't consider myself or my company to be marketing consultant or being
> part of mass hysteria.  The fact that the customers that are doing web
> services and using web services products don't feel a strong need to use
> HTTP (while using URIs, XML and much of HTTP) in a manner that you like,
> shows where any hysteria on this issue lies.

No, it shows where ignorance of the Web architecture can lead any group
of people to design a solution that breaks it instead of becoming part
of it.  If you told people the truth about what will happen to SOAP over
HTTP as soon as firewalls are upgraded to defend against them, those
customers wouldn't allow that technology in the door.

> I find it interesting that you feel comfortable being part of the TAG at 
> the
> W3C, which was voted on by the W3C Members, but you are uncomfortable with
> Web Services as-is at the W3C, also voted on by W3C Members.  And if the 
> Web
> Services folks don't do what you think is right, they should just all go
> somewhere else regardless of the process that got us where we are.  I'd
> observe that in the TAG elections, 3 of the 5 elected members are members 
> of
> the SOAP WG.  I interpret this as yet another plank in the mandate that 
> web
> services at the W3C is important to the membership.

So what?  First of all, I have never been "comfortable" being part of
the TAG.  I am living with it because the members of my nonprofit
organization are sick of seeing the principle of simplicity in Web
standards being ignored within the W3C, mostly because of that very
same Process that values membership money over technology merit.
This is my (perhaps hopeless) attempt to make the W3C responsible
to the public, rather than just the members.

I am just one of nine votes on the TAG.  I am tired of people defending
bad technology in terms of how many people are willing to make money from
it rather than how many people have successfully deployed it within the
Internet environment.  Nevertheless, I would have no problem with the W3C
being used as the specification cauldron for SOAP as "XML Services".
I've built Web services (small "s") for a living and Web infrastructure
for the public.  People wanted me on the TAG because I have actual
experience in implementing Web systems and writing Web standards,
not because I am respectful of the W3C working process.

> I'm prepared to continue discussion and gain understanding of yours and
> others views - and I've repeatedly demonstrated that - but let's not 
> ignore
> what the member companies have expressed.  They can change their mind I
> guess, but I frankly don't see that going over well on ac-forum.  Again, 
> I'd
> like avoid the process question and focus on the technical merits as 
> befits
> TAG discussions.

The TAG does not exist to rubber-stamp the products of working groups.
We have identified, very clearly, a deficiency in regard to SOAP: it
does not allow URI to be used to identify important resources.  That
technology, as it is currently defined, has no relationship to the Web.
The working group should either fix that deficiency or clearly
indicate that the technology is not intended for use with the Web.

If you don't agree that this kind of issue is precisely why the TAG
exists, then please enlighten me as to why the AC doesn't simply
vote on matters of Web architecture and let popular opinion decide.
I will be happy to resign if that is the kind of standards you want.

Cheers,

Roy T. Fielding, Chairman, The Apache Software Foundation
                  (fielding@apache.org)  <http://www.apache.org/>

                  Chief Scientist, Day Software
                  2 Corporate Plaza, Suite 150   tel:+1.949.644.2557 x102
                  Newport Beach, CA 92660-7929   fax:+1.949.644.5064
                  (roy.fielding@day.com) <http://www.day.com/>
Received on Tuesday, 23 April 2002 20:28:15 GMT

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