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RE: !-Re: ebXML Abandons SOAP

From: Henrik Frystyk Nielsen <frystyk@microsoft.com>
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 2000 20:35:31 -0700
Message-ID: <000b01c0326b$27f8a530$fb4c1fac@redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
To: "James Snell" <jmsnell@intesolv.com>, <xml-dist-app@w3.org>

Hi James,

> Stepping back and taking a look at both, however, it is quite
> clear that
> although the SOAP v1.1 specification is capable of being used
> for document
> exchange, it falls short of many of the architecture
> requirements that the
> ebXML initiative addresses... namely, security and the
> ability to handle
> large chunks of binary data efficiently without base64
> encoding.  These are
> the same standard arguments that we've heard for quite some
> time about SOAP,
> and they will not go away until the specification is either updated to
> support them, or is replaced by a new XP that gives us both a simple
> Envelope architecture  and a comprehensive packaging and security
> specification.

I agree that the envelope doesn't do any "application stuff"
(authentication, signing, etc. etc.)  but this is really what makes it so
widely usable because the composability model allows it to be extended in
very flexible ways to cover these topics (note that I put application in
quotes as the meaning of the term application always depends on who you
talk to). The result is that we can build on something that stays simple
and well-defined. This is why it is so important to maintain the
orthogonality between the envelope and application using that envelope.

This is also very much what the xp charter [1] leans itself against: the
scope for the WG is (relatively) small but there is amble opportunity to
build on top of it. In particular, section 2.4 [2] stretches this:

    We do not expect the Working Group to actively take
    on defining application layer semantics except where
    such semantics are general enough to accommodate a
    large set of applications. In particular, it is
    anticipated that other initiatives including other
    W3C Activities and potentially other Working Groups
    within this Activity (if approved by the W3C Membership)
    will undertake the important work of defining application
    layer semantics that use the XML Protocol framework.
    These work efforts may take place at the same time as
    those of the Working Group.

In order to get to the point where people can build on the output of this
group, we have to stay focused but this doesn't mean that other
initiatives like the ones you call for shouldn't be pushed in parallel.
This is in fact what the charter calls for.


[1] http://www.w3.org/2000/09/XML-Protocol-Charter
[2] http://www.w3.org/2000/09/XML-Protocol-Charter#application
Received on Monday, 9 October 2000 23:36:06 UTC

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