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ISSUE : SOAPAction as Property?

From: Glen Daniels <gdaniels@macromedia.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2003 15:06:10 -0500
Message-ID: <CB1FF0A474AEA84EA0206D5B05F6A4CB0254FF12@S1001EXM02.macromedia.com>
To: "'xmlp-comments@w3.org'" <xmlp-comments@w3.org>
Cc: "'xml-dist-app@w3.org'" <xml-dist-app@w3.org>, "'www-ws-desc@w3.org'" <www-ws-desc@w3.org>


Folks:

Currently the "action" parameter in the SOAP 1.2 media type is only described in appendix A of part 2, and not mentioned in the HTTP binding or anywhere else in the document.  As this parameter is (optionally) supported, and may be important for some implementations, it is important to have a consistent way to describe how to set it.

During this week's WS-Desc telcon, we discussed a proposal to express the value of the action parameter in WSDL as a Property (per the SOAP 1.2/WSDL 1.2 feature/property extensibility model), in a very similar manner to Web-Method.  However, we noted that the HTTP binding should really expose this feature explicitly, again, for exactly the same reasons we exposed web-method as a property.  We therefore propose the following change to the SOAP 1.2 spec:

PROPOSAL:  Introduce an "action" feature with a single defined property ("http://www.w3.org/2002/12/soap/features/action/Action") which has the behavior of setting the MIME action parameter in bindings.  The HTTP binding would natively support this feature.

This is a fairly minor change to the spec, which would not change implementations in any way.  However, it would make description languages (WSDL) and other specifications easier to write, in line with the reasons for the feature/property model in the first place.

Note that it is certainly possible to write implementations which set this parameter using custom APIs, and other specs (including WSDL) which refer to it in english, but this seems to be just the sort of thing which should be expressed with the model.

Alternately, the same feature could be described and "overlaid" on top of the HTTP binding in a separate note, but that would, to some extent, break the clean encapsulation of bindings-as-feature-implementors.  In other words, publishing a separate spec/note which says "oh, by the way the normative HTTP binding also supports this new feature here" is no guarantee that all implementations of the binding will recognize/refer to the correct property values if they are referenced in WSDL descriptions or other specifications.

We would love to get the opinion of the XMLP group on this matter, and apologize for bringing it up so late in the cycle.  It is not our intent to hold up the spec, but we did feel this was worth bringing up.

Thanks very much,

--Glen
Received on Thursday, 20 March 2003 15:06:37 GMT

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