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Re: SOAP services as database query interfaces / SOAP design patterns?

From: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 14:33:44 -0500
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Cc: www-ws@w3.org, mf@w3.org
Message-ID: <20021119143344.U21537@www.markbaker.ca>

On Tue, Nov 19, 2002 at 12:07:45PM -0500, Dan Brickley wrote:
> Sure. http://www.musicbrainz.org/showalbum.html?albumid=575 is a view into
> a web site/service that returns an HTML description of the tracklisting
> for a particular album by some recording artist. Somewhere on
> musicbrainz.org there's an HTTP/URI/RDF web service that does the same
> thing for a machine audience (sorry, don't have URI handy). It wouldn't be
> hard to set up a SOAP/GET or SOAP/POST view into the same dataset. If I
> did this with GET, eg. http://example.com/showalbum.soap.xml?ablumid=575
> it'd be trivially easy for tools and services elsewhere in the Web to
> generate URIs into my service that point straight into the lookup of that
> item. If I used POST, it'd be significantly harder for other Web content
> and services to reference that record within my SOAP service.

Ok, but how do you want to use cataloguing in that example?

> Thanks, that's handy. Rather nice in fact; these are hypertext documents:

Yup, that's the idea! 8-)

> A few observations:
> 
>  * on my Windows2000 laptop, browsing with Opera, IE5.5 and Mozilla 1.2 I
>    had to make constant use of 'view source' and external helper apps
>    (text editors!) to navigate between these documents. This feels like a
>    retrograde step: following three links took me several minutes instead of
>    several seconds.

Yah, there's a number of factors contributing to that.

- SOAP 1.2 uses a new media type which browsers don't know about, and
therefore most pop up a "what do you want to do with this" dialog
- PIs aren't allowed, otherwise an xml-stylesheet PI could be there
- the service is only for machines, not humans, but the developers could
easily have used conneg to present an HTML version (though I prefer the
stylesheet solution myself)

>  * It shows that there is no crisp distinction between the 'machine web'
>    and the 'human web'. Both machines and people could make use of
>    documents that provide the information we see above.

Sssshhhh!!  You'll spoil the big surprise! 8-)

MB
-- 
Mark Baker.  Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.   http://www.markbaker.ca

   Will distribute objects for food
Received on Tuesday, 19 November 2002 14:30:24 GMT

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