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Re: SOAP and the Web architecture

From: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2001 15:02:35 -0700
To: David Orchard <orchard@pacificspirit.com>
Cc: "xml-dist-app@w3.org" <xml-dist-app@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20010828150230.F4124@mnot.net>

Well, in the case of Squid, changing the max request-URI size
requires a change in a .h and a recompile.

Figures that I see say that anywhere between 15% and 30% (depending
on who you believe) of the HTTP traffic on the planet goes through a
caching proxy (note that this doesn't include other HTTP
intermediaries, just caching proxies). Many of these are very old
products, indicating that they're deployed in a 'fire-and-forget'

Considering this, as well as the difficulty of coordinating this
change with all of the intermediary's administrators (who often don't
care about the user's problems), it doesn't seem likely that we can
say "Hey, SOAP is cool; please change your deployment and/or code"
and get universal compliance.

Things will break, likely for a long time. Whether this is acceptable
or not is another question. Proxies are run in the interest of access
providers, not end users, and as a result don't always operate in a
manner that is transparent and/or friendly to the end users' wishes.

P.S. HTTP/1.1 defines a status code for 'request-uri too long';
HTTP/1.0 does not. No major vendor, to my knowledge, has released a
HTTP/1.1 compliant proxy before this summer; the majority are still
1.0 (1.1 is difficult to implement for intermediaries in a marketable
fashion). Because of this, it will not necessarily be easy to detect
this failure condition.

On Tue, Aug 28, 2001 at 02:44:03PM -0700, David Orchard wrote:
> Mark,
> What do you mean by "support" and "requires something"?  If SOAP
> requires that some, maybe even all software, change 1 parameter,
> does that count as "not supported"?  It seems to me that if SOAP
> requires a configuration change, then the software supports it and
> requires no software change. Certainly a separate download and
> install isn't required.  I separate and distinguish between code
> changes and on-site configuration changes, and I'm wondering what
> you and others think.
> Do you classify configuration changes under "suddenly requires" or
> "support"?
> Thanks,
> Dave
> On Tuesday, August 28, 2001 1:38 PM, Mark Nottingham [SMTP:mnot@mnot.net] 
> wrote:
> >
> > > If an arbitrary limitation of the software gets in the way of
> > > meaningful useful real-world uses then it is lacking a feature
> > > whether we call it broken or not.
> >
> > I don't think it's arbitrary; implementations need to protect
> > themselves from overflow attacks, etc. Of course, if the world
> > decides that longer URIs are a good and useful thing, fine.
> > However, one of the ideas behind having HTTP bindings for SOAP is
> > that it will be able to use the existing infrastructure (re-use
> > existant HTTP stacks, and use HTTP for routing out of the
> > firewall). If SOAP suddenly requires something that a good part
> > of that infrastructure doesn't support, we lose a lot of value.
> >
> >
> <snip/>
> >
> > Cheers,
> >
> >
> > --
> > Mark Nottingham
> > http://www.mnot.net/
> >  

Mark Nottingham
Received on Tuesday, 28 August 2001 18:02:36 UTC

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