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RE: Magic

From: Newcomer, Eric <Eric.Newcomer@iona.com>
Date: Sun, 18 May 2003 08:27:22 -0400
Message-ID: <DCF6EF589A22A14F93DFB949FD8C4AB20107458E@amereast-ems1.IONAGLOBAL.COM>
To: "Baker, Mark" <distobj@acm.org>, <www-ws-arch@w3.org>

Mark,

This is a very interesting response.  You do not allow for the possibility that I (and presumably others) might understand but still disagree.  

The lack of recognition for opposite viewpoints is usually a disqualifier for participation in a public forum such as this, and I strongly urge you to either admit the possibility or withdraw. 

For the record, I completely agree that the Web is an historical success, and that REST as an architectural description is very well suited to the Web.  I think uniform interfaces work well for the Web, and I do not think the Web is either trivial or crude.  

But I also do not think that REST is an appropriate architecture for Web services.  The problem space of program to program communications is sufficiently different from the problem space of hypertext publishing to require a different approach.  I do not agree that tunneling is evil, and I do not agree that WSDL interfaces are limiting, because I do not agree that WSDL is used in the same way as REST, or should be.

The purpose of my email was to highlight the significance of factors outside of technical and architectural purity.  Part of the argument I often hear about REST is that it has succeeded, therefore it's good.  In the case of SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI the same is true, and that viewpoint needs to be acknowledged.  Web services products do not implement REST, they implement SOAP, WSDL, UDDI, and a number of other specifications that are starting to emerge.

We, as a working group, have the choice of accepting the fact and working toward the goal of defining an architecture that embraces them and the concepts they embody, or risking irrelevance.

Eric


-----Original Message-----
From: Baker, Mark 
Sent: Saturday, May 17, 2003 2:49 PM
To: www-ws-arch@w3.org
Subject: Magic



On Sat, May 17, 2003 at 01:50:06PM -0400, Newcomer, Eric wrote:
> Let's please forget about REST, the Semantic Web, and the other academic exercises and focus on solving problems for business.  

Just because you don't understand it, please don't denigrate it.

The Web generates more business value every hour of every day, than
SOA-style systems (combined) ever have or ever will.  Unconstrained
interfaces are simply not suitable for the Internet.  Period.  End of
story.  The empiricial evidence backs me up on this too.  The fact that
lots of otherwise intelligent people (whose only mistake is they just
haven't done their homework on Internet scale systems) don't understand
that, does not all of a sudden make it so.

I *understand* that the Web looks like some trivial and cutesy
human-driven system that enables crude UIs to be deployed in a thin-
client fashion.  6 years ago, I thought the same thing too, and was a
big fan of SOAs.  But it is *SO* much more, and I *WISH* people would
just try to make a *SMALL* effort to understand that without getting all
defensive and nervous about the prospect that they're mistaken; heck,
if you are wrong, you're in good company 8-)  When I started studying
the Web in 96/97, I wasn't expecting to learn what the Web was; I was
just trying to find out what made it so successful so that I could
incorporate that into my work (with CORBA, at the time).  I was as
surprised as anybody to learn what I did; that not only did it have some
neat things to offer CORBA, it removed the need for CORBA altogether.  I
remember being absolutely stunned for about a week in May of '98 after a
talk with Roy in which I finally "got it"; I hardly slept.

Anyhow, excuse me for venting.  I just couldn't let that tripe pass by
without responding.

*PLEASE*, everyone, try to make an effort to understand it before you
dismiss it.  If you understand it, but still want to dismiss it, then
go nuts. 8-)

MB
Received on Sunday, 18 May 2003 08:27:29 GMT

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