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Re: Web Service Definition [Was "Some Thoughts ..."]

From: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 22:14:14 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <200203010314.WAA21667@markbaker.ca>
To: Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com (Champion, Mike)
Cc: www-ws-arch@w3.org

> FTP has been mentioned -- I think we'd agree an FTP server is not a "web
> service" even though it has a URI, is invoked by a standard protocol, and
> can be called by an application.  I'd say it's not a web service because the
> content of the result is not interpreted by most applications, or "processed
> in a meaningful way."

I respectfully disagree.  Using an example, what if the file that is
retrieved is a WSDL document?

> Likewise, a random web page is not a web service even though it has a URI
> and is invoked by HTTP, for the same reason.  A web browser does not process
> the content returned by an HTTP server in a meaningful way. [Yeah, I need
> help on what "meaninful" means ...this is vague, but gets to the essence of
> what a web service is]

Yup. 8-)

I consider any document that has any information other than UI
layout/rendering to be "meaningful" in this context.  But that includes
pretty much all HTML pages too, since HTML includes many features which
are more than just UI; "address", for example.

> Anyway, I think we'd make more progress toward either coming up with an
> acceptable definition of "web service" OR defining the requirements for a
> "web service architecture" if we think through some of these corner cases. 

In a small group, sure.  In the WSAWG, I don't personally believe so.
They're really good examples.  Too good, in fact.  I don't believe that
a group of this size could reach a concensus view at that level of
detail, at this point in time.  I'd prefer to start top-down, and then
iterate the definition as we go, if required.

Mark Baker, Chief Science Officer, Planetfred, Inc.
Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.      mbaker@planetfred.com
http://www.markbaker.ca   http://www.planetfred.com
Received on Thursday, 28 February 2002 22:10:35 UTC

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