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Migrating the validator's experimental XML output to SOAP

From: Olivier Thereaux <ot@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 14:13:06 +0900
To: www-validator@w3.org
Cc: Struan Donald <struan@exo.org.uk>
Message-ID: <20051025051306.GA4593@w3.mag.keio.ac.jp>

Dear all,

In version 0.6.0 of the Markup Validator, the users documentation [1]
had a note about some experimental new featured, stating:
The API and output format is subject to change without notice and may
well be removed or disabled at any time. They are provided now to garner
public feedback to determine how best to support this functionality in
the future. One particularly likely option being considered is removing
these features alltogether in favor of a full-blown SOAP interface.
]] -- [1](archive) http://qa-dev.w3.org/wmvs/0.6.1/docs/users.html#api-warning

However experimental and labeled "Here Be Dragons", the feature raised
interest, and started to be used by some of us. Plans were made to drop
it rapidly for a "real" SOAP interface [2], but this feature lost to
other priorities, such as UI (error explanations, easier feedback) and
architectural changes (templates). And now that the templates makes it
much easier, and thanks to similar work for the CSS validator, the SOAP
interface is here. Its model is closer to the EARL reporting language,
and ti benefits from SOAP features, such as fault management. And of
course, it has the advantage of not being Yet Another Homegrown XML

[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-validator/2002Nov/0294

I do not know yet when this SOAP interface will be in production it can
already be tested on our development instance [3], by adding
output=soap12 to a query, but when we do, we'll also drop the
experimental XML format. We could, and we may, simply say "you were
warned" and just drop it, but the XML format, however experimental, has
been around for quite a while (almost 3 years!), and we care about the
service provided by programmatic access to the validator, so at least we
are going to give an advance warning. 

[3] http://qa-dev.w3.org/wmvs/HEAD/

How we will exactly proceed is not set in stone yet, and that's why I am
sending this message. Struan, I have Cc'd you because I know you are an
active developer of a programmatic access library to the experimental
XML output. I am sure there may be others. I think it would be good if
you were involved in the transition.

One possible plan could be to:
- finish documenting the interface, the namespace, and publish the WSDL;
- backport the feature from the version 0.8.0-dev onto a 0.7.2 release,
  with an output=soap12 access. The output=xml would still be available,
  but deprecated;
- and when releasing 0.8.0, the output=xml would be eventually removed, 
  or replaced with the SOAP output.

Your thoughts on this plan would be much welcome. Also, if you know of
other people using the current XML output to access, or provide access
to, the Markup Validator, please make them aware of this e-mail. 

Thank you.
olivier Thereaux - W3C - http://www.w3.org/People/olivier/
W3C Open Source Software: http://www.w3.org/Status
Received on Tuesday, 25 October 2005 05:13:11 UTC

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