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RE: Normative constraints on the WSA

From: Newcomer, Eric <Eric.Newcomer@iona.com>
Date: Sun, 18 May 2003 10:11:04 -0400
Message-ID: <DCF6EF589A22A14F93DFB949FD8C4AB201074592@amereast-ems1.IONAGLOBAL.COM>
To: "Anne Thomas Manes" <anne@manes.net>, "Walden Mathews" <waldenm@optonline.net>, "Baker, Mark" <distobj@acm.org>, "Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler)" <RogerCutler@chevrontexaco.com>
Cc: <www-ws-arch@w3.org>

Anne,

Yes, this sounds like a good idea.  Let's focus on the current problem, defining an architecture for Web services as we currently understand them, and then as a second effort, or next version, consider proposals for incorporating more of REST and Semantic Web.

I think the debate dates back to the original XML Protocols Workshop in Amsterdam, which was May 2000 ;-).  I think it was Henry Thompson who proposed a document exchange model instead of the SOAP proposal as the basic input for the XML Protocols WG.  And Larry Masinter and others, if I remember correctly, made suggestions along this line when we were developing the XML Protocols WG charter.

The trouble with the REST oriented proposals then, as now, is that they are too different from how programs currently work and are modeled and designed.  It would be a lot more work to map a pure document exchange model (i.e. all state is in the document) to existing programs than it is to map the SOAP model.

Over time, the industry may move more toward the pure document exchange model.  And SOAP does include a document oriented interaction type that provides some foundation for this.  But let's defer this step till after we've worked out the architecture for the current world. Yes.

Thanks,

Eric

-----Original Message-----
From: Anne Thomas Manes [mailto:anne@manes.net]
Sent: Sunday, May 18, 2003 9:26 AM
To: Newcomer, Eric; Walden Mathews; Baker, Mark; Cutler, Roger
(RogerCutler)
Cc: www-ws-arch@w3.org
Subject: RE: Normative constraints on the WSA


Eric,

For the most part I agree with you. The world has adopted the current
generation of Web services (very RPC-oriented, and not very RESTful) for a
reason. It's simple, familiar, vendor-neutral, and it has wide support by
all vendors. It helps people integrate systems better than any previous
RPC-oriented middlware technology.

This current generation of Web services technology uses (abuses?) the Web.
But it is NOT the Web. It is RPC-oriented middleware -- it is
service-centric rather than resource-centric. It's about verbs rather than
nouns. If I recall correctly, the folks that originally came together in
April 2001 to talk about Web services and that recommended the immediate
formation of this group weren't even thinking about REST at the time. We
were thinking about RPC. And we wanted to define an over-arching
architecture for this type of middleware.

I think that's what this group should focus on.

At the same time, I think that it would be an excellent endeavor to work on
the next generation of Web services -- a RESTful version of Web services.
I'd love to see another Working Group started to focus on this work. I just
don't think that this work should interfere any further with the immediate
work at hand.

It's been more than 2 years since we came together and agreed that defining
the WSA was a top priority. Eric is correct that the W3C is in danger of
losing its relevance in Web services. It just takes too long for anything to
happen in this venue.

And one more point regarding Eric's predicted response from the RESTful
folks:
> I know exactly what the "Web heads" (sorry Spidey!) are going to
> say:  The Web is a commercial and marketplace success.  Sure it
> is.  It's great for publishing, academic research, and a certain
> amount of retail commerce.  But that does not mean it is also
> going to succeed at Web services.  Almost by definition it is
> not, since it hasn't.

Most of the retail commerce success is based on CGI/ASP/JSP -- which very
definitely tunnels method calls through HTTP. It isn't RESTful.

Regards,
Anne


> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-ws-arch-request@w3.org [mailto:www-ws-arch-request@w3.org]On
> Behalf Of Newcomer, Eric
> Sent: Saturday, May 17, 2003 1:50 PM
> To: Walden Mathews; Baker, Mark; Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler)
> Cc: www-ws-arch@w3.org
> Subject: RE: Normative constraints on the WSA
>
>
>
> Hi,
>
> The trouble with all this, as we've said many times, is that Web
> services are not the same as the Web.  They are not indented for
> the same usage patterns, developer audience, or business model.
>
> Let's especially remember that technology by itself is useless -
> it is only useful within the context of its application.  Web
> services are not intended to solve the same problem as the Web,
> and businesses are not interested in academic exercises like REST
> and other characterizations of what is "good" vs "bad"
> architecture, what is "ancient" vs "modern" etc.
>
> I doubt Web services are progress.  But I don't think that's bad,
> since they have significant application in business.  The Web does not.
>
> Let's please forget about REST, the Semantic Web, and the other
> academic exercises and focus on solving problems for business.
>
> The W3C is already in danger of losing its relevance in Web
> services, but perhaps that's self evident by the traffic on this
> list, which grows increasingly "REST-ish" and less and less
> oriented toward improving Web services as they have been accepted.
>
> Criticisms founded on purely technical grounds or on the subject
> of "architectural purity" completely miss the point of what we
> need to do.  At the end of the day, marketplace acceptance is the
> only measure that matters for a standard, and the current Web
> services have been widely adopted.
>
> None of these purity arguments are going to change commercial
> reality.  But they can take us further and further away from
> being relevant.
>
> I know exactly what the "Web heads" (sorry Spidey!) are going to
> say:  The Web is a commercial and marketplace success.  Sure it
> is.  It's great for publishing, academic research, and a certain
> amount of retail commerce.  But that does not mean it is also
> going to succeed at Web services.  Almost by definition it is
> not, since it hasn't.
>
> So - anyone out there on this list still want to work on Web
> services?  Or should we just give in and say that Web services
> are the same as the Web?
>
> Eric
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Walden Mathews [mailto:waldenm@optonline.net]
> Sent: Saturday, May 17, 2003 10:21 AM
> To: Baker, Mark; Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler)
> Cc: www-ws-arch@w3.org
> Subject: Re: Normative constraints on the WSA
>
>
>
> Mark,
>
> I pretty much agree with you, except that I don't think it's
> so much about never relaxing constraints as it is about preserving
> most of what succeeds, and allowing slow evolution.  You
> could break the system just as easily by adding the wrong constraints
> as you could by relaxing, judiciously, some existing ones.
>
> --Walden
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Mark Baker" <distobj@acm.org>
> To: "Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler)" <RogerCutler@chevrontexaco.com>
> Cc: <www-ws-arch@w3.org>
> Sent: Saturday, May 17, 2003 9:43 AM
> Subject: Re: Normative constraints on the WSA
>
>
> >
> > On Sat, May 17, 2003 at 03:39:46AM -0500, Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler)
> wrote:
> > > I don't think that anything in the architecture of the Web,
> at least as
> > > I see it articulated by the TAG or the charter of the WSAWG, says or
> > > implies that the Web must remain the same forever.  As I've stated it,
> > > this may seem like a tautology or perhaps as a personally
> intended slur
> > > (not intended this way at all), but I'm beginning to think that in
> > > essence this, or something like it, is a point of real difference of
> > > opinion and approach.
> >
> > Not at all.  But you don't see improvement by relaxing constraints and
> > removing the very properties that got us to where we are today.  You
> > see improvement by *adding* new constraints.  I welcome all innovation
> > on the Web that does just that (see KnowNow), and I reject all
> > "innovation" to the contrary; it isn't innovation, it's taking us back
> > between 20 and 30 years in the evolution of large scale distributed
> > systems.
> >
> > MB
> > --
> > Mark Baker.   Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.        http://www.markbaker.ca
> > Web architecture consulting, technical reports, evaluation & analysis
> >   Actively seeking contract work or employment
> >
> >
>
>
Received on Sunday, 18 May 2003 10:11:22 GMT

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