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Re: Web RPCs Considered Harmful

From: Wesley M. Felter <wesf@cs.utexas.edu>
Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 16:28:48 -0500 (CDT)
To: Edd Dumbill <edd@usefulinc.com>
cc: xml-dist-app@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.21.0005121618250.9296-100000@knockando.cs.utexas.edu>
On Fri, 12 May 2000, Edd Dumbill wrote:

> Although you point out that data transfer protocols have the opportunity
> of avoiding lock-in, I'm not sure it's an API vs data transfer thing.
> I can't see that it's any more difficult to obfuscate a data format than
> an API.

I don't see obfuscation as being the problem. I'm more concerned about RPC
interfaces which are fully published, but can't map onto other
implementations than the initial one. Consider an interface that requires
every object to be manipulated to have some unique numeric ID; a system
that doesn't assign numeric IDs to its objects is going to need massive
kludges to implement such an interface.

If we encourage a culture of "implement first, release the spec later
(when it's too late to change it because the software has already
shipped)" then I think there's going to be a lot of fragmentation. I'm not
sure that there's a technical solution to that, though.

Wesley Felter - wesf@cs.utexas.edu - http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/wesf/
Received on Friday, 12 May 2000 17:24:16 GMT

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