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Re: Issue: should WSDL allow overloaded methods?

From: Jeff Mischkinsky <jeff.mischkinsky@oracle.com>
Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 09:09:42 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: "Russell Butek" <butek@us.ibm.com>
Cc: "Jean-Jacques Moreau" <moreau@crf.canon.fr>, Joyce Yang <joyce.yang@oracle.com>, www-ws-desc@w3c.org
At 05:28 AM 5/23/02, Russell Butek wrote:
>Hi, Jeff,
>Your example of unsigned integer vs integer is a reasonable one, but it's
>misleading.  Most overloaded operations, in practice, are more divergent
>than that, and if we only have resolution difficulties with things like
>integer vs unsigned integer, and not the vast majority of them, then this
>is a resolution issue I'd be willing to deal with.  If WSDL did not support
>overloaded operations, then we'd have resolution difficulties with EVERY
>overloaded operation.

I disagree. In order to define automatic rules one has to consider ALL the 
cases, which in this case will add considerable complexity.

>But there's more!  We must worry about BOTH directions.  WSDL -> some
>language, AND some language -> WSDL.

I wasn't aware that the W3C WSDWG was defining "reverse" language mappings.

>  Take the J2EE world.  J2EE is a big
>world.  Since it's Java, overloaded operations already exist there.  If we
>want to use SOAP as the communications mechanism between J2EE systems, then
>we must translate Java to WSDL.  Without overloaded operations in WSDL,
>we'll have to mangle EVERY overloaded operation and we will have resolution

That would be one possible solution. Another is to have the developer

>You worry about dispatching overloaded operations on the server side.  We
>already have that problem in Java RMI and it deals with it.

It is dealing with a fairly simple world. The type systems on both sides 
are the same. There are a whole set of Java language rules which define 
what constitutes valid overloading, i.e. the definition of type 
equivalence. This would have to be done for WSDL... what would those 
universal type system rules look like? (I'm not saying it couldn't be done, 
but it will not be a trivial excercise.)

>   Forcing the
>dispatcher to add, on top of what it already does, unmangling of operation
>names, just makes it more complex.

Hence I would probably make a different choice in my product.

>I just want y'all to be aware that, if WSDL does not support overloaded
>operations, that doesn't mean the problem goes away.  You just delay
>dealing with it.  And instead of dealing with it ONCE, it is dealt with in
>every language mapping in a potentially messier manner.

It needs to be dealt with in every language mapping regardless of what we 
do in WSDL. (see the unsigned example above.)


>Russell Butek
>Jeff Mischkinsky <jeff.mischkinsky@oracle.com> on 05/22/2002 07:38:43 PM
>To:    Russell Butek/Austin/IBM@IBMUS, "Jean-Jacques Moreau"
>        <moreau@crf.canon.fr>
>cc:    Joyce Yang <joyce.yang@oracle.com>, www-ws-desc@w3c.org
>Subject:    Re: Issue: should WSDL allow overloaded methods?
>Hi Russ,
>     It seems to me that the best way to proceed may depend upon where one
>starts from. Starting with a WSDL that allows overloading means that there
>will be a mangling problem when mapping to languages that do not allow
>     Even if one accepts that argument that "modern" languages, and the only
>ones that we need to be concerned about, support overloading,  there still
>may be a problem. The mapping will only be "natural" if the type systems
>between WSDL and the target languages are similar "enough" that the
>languages will allow the reuse of a method name for all possible
>overloadings in both directions.
>     For example let's say that in an overloaded WSDL there is a difference
>between unsigned and signed integers, so that i can have 2 foo(), one with
>an unsigned integer, the other with a signed integer. What will happen in a
>language which doesn't allow a foo(unsigned integer) and foo(integer)?
>    Another issue that arises is the efficiency/possibility of doing
>dispatch on the server side. If WSDL allows overloading, then the dispatch
>mechanism will have to determine which "real" method to call based upon the
>actual parameter types in the request. (Dispatch based upon name won't be
>good enough.) Resolving the ambiguity may be quite complex and time
>    cheers,
>     jeff
>At 05:32 AM 5/22/02, Russell Butek wrote:
> >I'm sorry I haven't been keeping closer tabs on this issue, but I would
> >like to discourage this thread.  Many languages support overloaded
> >operations.  If you disallow it in WSDL, all you're doing is moving the
> >burden of dealing with overloaded operations from the WSDL spec to mapping
> >specs.  And all this accomplishes in the long run is cryptic mappings,
> >chances for name clashes, and more difficulty resolving names in the
> >runtime.  How, for instance, would the following Java be mapped to WSDL?
> >
> >MyObject create(String context, String name);
> >MyObject create(URL name);
> >MyObject create(OtherObject obj);
> >URL createURL();
> >OtherObject createOtherObject();
> >
> >Most likely, mappings will have to come up with mangled names like:
> >
> ><operation name="createStringString".../>
> ><operation name="createURL".../>
> ><operation name="createURL".../> <!-- which of these should be mangled
> >further? -->
> ><operation name="createOtherObject".../>
> ><operation name="createOtherObject".../> <!-- which of these should be
> >mangled further? -->
> >
> >Yes, a language mapping could probably solve these issues better than I
> >in this quick note, but if WSDL itself allowed overloaded operations, then
> >the language mapping wouldn't even have to deal with the issues, we'd
> >generate cleaner WSDL and we wouldn't have to worry about name clashes and
> >resolution difficulties in the tools and runtime.
> >
> >I don't know the issues at hand, and perhaps they're significant, but I
> >would like everyone to weigh those issues against future issues that
> >banning overloaded operations would raise.
> >
> >Russell Butek
> >butek@us.ibm.com
> >
> >
> >"Jean-Jacques Moreau" <moreau@crf.canon.fr>@w3.org on 05/22/2002 04:19:12
> >AM
> >
> >Sent by:    www-ws-desc-request@w3.org
> >
> >
> >To:    Joyce Yang <joyce.yang@oracle.com>
> >cc:    www-ws-desc@w3c.org
> >Subject:    Re: Issue: should WSDL allow overloaded methods?
> >
> >
> >
> >+1
> >
> >Joyce Yang wrote:
> >
> > > Proposal: clearly disallow methods overloading in WSDL 1.2.
> > > Methods overloading should exist in the concrete implementation
> > > of the service, but not in the service description.
>Jeff Mischkinsky                    jeff.mischkinsky@oracle.com
>Consulting Member Technical Staff   +1(650)506-1975 (voice)
>Oracle Corporation                  +1(650)506-7225 (fax)
>400 Oracle Parkway, M/S 4OP960
>Redwood Shores, CA 94065 USA

Jeff Mischkinsky                    jeff.mischkinsky@oracle.com
Consulting Member Technical Staff   +1(650)506-1975 (voice)
Oracle Corporation                  +1(650)506-7225 (fax)
400 Oracle Parkway, M/S 4OP960
Redwood Shores, CA 94065 USA
Received on Thursday, 23 May 2002 12:12:56 UTC

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