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Re: A personal plea for peace and just a wee bit of patience (and I do mean a wee bit)

From: Dave Winer <dave@userland.com>
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2000 04:10:57 -0800
Message-ID: <1e8501bf8509$88d8e960$1918ccce@murphy>
To: "Box, Don" <dbox@develop.com>, <SOAP@discuss.develop.com>
Cc: "Tim O'Reilly \(E-mail\)" <tim@oreilly.com>, <timbl@w3.org>, <tbray@textuality.com>, <ken@bitsko.slc.ut.us>, <Daniel.Veillard@w3.org>, <connolly@w3.org>, <eric@w3.org>, <xml-dist-app@w3.org>, "Henrik Frystyk Nielsen \(E-mail\)" <henrikn@microsoft.com>, "Steve Vinoski \(E-mail\)" <vinoski@iona.com>
Don, your enthusiasm is great, but your recount of what I said and probably
others, is imperfect and potentially quite disruptive.

After the BOF I put all my thoughts together, and gave a keynote speech at
XTech from that, so anyone who wants to know what I think can read it,
without transcription error.


Ken, whose programming I respect, also misread the piece. Ken I support

Here's to a discussion that's grounded in reality. Thanks.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Box, Don" <dbox@develop.com>
To: <SOAP@discuss.develop.com>
Cc: "Tim O'Reilly (E-mail)" <tim@oreilly.com>; <timbl@w3.org>;
<tbray@textuality.com>; <ken@bitsko.slc.ut.us>; <dave@userland.com>;
<Daniel.Veillard@w3.org>; <connolly@w3.org>; <eric@w3.org>;
<xml-dist-app@w3.org>; "Henrik Frystyk Nielsen (E-mail)"
<henrikn@microsoft.com>; "Steve Vinoski (E-mail)" <vinoski@iona.com>
Sent: Friday, March 03, 2000 1:17 AM
Subject: A personal plea for peace and just a wee bit of patience (and I do
mean a wee bit)

> I spent the entire week at XTech and had an amazing experience. As many of
> you know, there was a "BOF" of sorts thrown by the W3C on March 1. Three
> the five SOAP authors were there (GopalK, DaveW, and me). Several IBM-ers
> were there. Several Sun and Netscape people were there. A lot of W3C folk
> were there, including several members of the W3C Schemas WG. A lot of
> whose affiliations were not known to me were there as well. Here's my
> summary of what happened (some of which came from the conference at
> No one advocated taking a year or more to develop a new standard. The
> cannot and will not wait. A standardization effort that takes a year to
> produce a stable artifact is irrelevant to most developers working in this
> area.
> Everyone acknowledged the need for a standard in this area to avoid the
> fracturing of XML and to get application protocols to stop reinventing the
> wheel every time they need to send a compound type (e.g., a struct).
> No one had concrete criticisms of the SOAP serialization format. That does
> not mean it is perfect. However, it means that no one who has looked at
> spec has any credible technical show-stoppers that they are willing to
> in an open forum.
> Dave Winer felt XML-RPC was perfectly adequate (and on March 2 advocated
> world use it instead of SOAP). No one at the BOF seemed to agree, at least
> no one verbalized their agreement. See Ken MacLeod's response to this at
> (http://www.monkeyfist.com/?id=293).
> Several people (although no one from DM or MS) advocated the W3C
> rubber-stamping SOAP.
> I believe I made a compelling case for STOPPING the "messaging vs. RPC"
> debate which has been beaten to death too many times here and elsewhere.
> No one at the BOF made the argument that SOAP was MS-centric or
> Windows-centric or COM-centric. Some people are concerned about the
> nature of the way the SOAP spec reads. The plan is to change that both
> through modularization of the spec and a better choice of wording for
> certain SOAP concepts. Look at my XML.com article on SOAP for more on this
> viewpoint.
> Everyone seemed to agree that there is value in modularizing SOAP by
> decoupling it from HTTP (in essence, turning the HTTP mapping into an
> appendix or auxiliary spec). The authors knew this already and have been
> working towards that prior to this BOF.
> Several talks at the conference mentioned their use of SOAP. Most notably,
> David Orchard from IBM has a working SOAP implementation.
> I interpreted Jon Bosak's keynote the day before the BOF as making a great
> case for why an infrastructure protocol like SOAP (or its functional
> equivalent) should come from the W3C or IETF rather than OASIS and that
> ebXML should then adopt it (and XML Schemas) as the substrate for defining
> industry-specific XML interfaces. According to Bosak, W3C defines
> infrastructure/platform and OASIS (the home of ebXML) is where application
> standards get layered. This sounds very reasonable to me.
> Tim Bray (co-editor of the XML 1.0 rec) attended the BOF and was a great
> help and inspiration. He told of how XML 1.0 came in "low and fast under
> radar" and became a standard before every standards wonk in the industry
> a chance to rack up frequent flyer miles arguing over where the
> go. There seemed to be consensus around the room that now is a time for
> another such effort.
> After the meeting on March 1, I am actually very optimistic about things.
> That stated, I ask for the support of the SOAP community at large to stop
> bickering for a week or two while I (and others) try to plot a strategy
> gives everyone an open, platform/application/language-neutral solution we
> all can live with in a time frame we can all live with. In particular,
> unless you feel we need to wait several years or that we should bake in
> dependencies on Visual Basic, your silence (on this list at least) will be
> interpreted as a general agreement on the end-goal of a timely agreement
> a universally implementable XML-based protocol framework.
> As many of you know, I've dedicated a lot of pro-bono time and energy
> rejoining SOAP last summer. I have no plans on stopping now, however, I
> for a wee bit of support while I try to gently corral the entire industry
> behind a unifying XML protocol.
> Thanks,
> DB
> http://www.develop.com/dbox
Received on Friday, 3 March 2000 07:11:49 UTC

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