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Re: Toss section 5 (create SOAP-lite)

From: Bob Cunnings <cunnings@lectrosonics.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2001 18:02:51 -0700
To: xml-dist-app@w3.org
Message-ID: <3B65A14E.27113.260428A5@localhost>

Roger writes:

> Section 5 of the SOAP spec is a long, complex description
> of how an "application" is to create (encode) a
> message document.  Why is it necessary for SOAP to
> specify this?

IMO a valuable purpose is served by specifying an encoding... It 
allows developers to escape having to develop their own! Also,
it provides a important common ground for interoperation of 
independently developed applications.

Even if buried in an annex to the spec, a normative encoding goes
a long way to facilitating the adoption of SOAP, especially for RPC 


> Hi Folks,
> Some thoughts, no doubt naive, about SOAP as I come up to speed on this
> technology.
> It is my considered opinion that section 5 of the spec (SOAP Encoding)
> should be discarded.  At the bottom of this message I list the reasons. 
> However, prior to that I would like to provide the context for my
> reasons.
> First, I would like to consider what are the "Essentials of SOAP" from
> the perspective of the Client wishing to send a message to a Receiver.
> Client 
>   - Creates an XML document (message document) that 
>     conforms to a "message XML Schema" (defined by
>     the Receiver).
>   - Wraps the message document in a SOAP envelope.
>   - Schema-validates the wrapped XML document against 
>     two schemas: the SOAP schema and the message schema.
>   - Hands the wrapped message XML document off to a 
>     "SOAP client" to send to the Receiver.
> Receiver
>    - A "SOAP server" receives the XML document.
>    - It removes the envelope.
>    - It determines the nature of the message by looking 
>      at the message's root element.
>    - It hands the message XML document to an 
>      appropriate handler.
> There are two things to note: 
> 1. What an "appropriate handler" does with the message is irrelevant.
> Likewise, ...
> 2. How the Client creates the "message document" is irrelevant, e.g., it
> could be created by hand using an XML editor, generated by a program,
> etc.
> Section 5 of the SOAP spec is a long, complex description of how an
> "application" is to create (encode) a message document.  Why is it
> necessary for SOAP to specify this?  How an application generates a
> message XML document is outside SOAP's domain (or, should be, IMHO).
> What's important is that the Client generates an instance document that
> conforms to an XML Schema which the Receiver has defined.  This schema
> represents the "contract" between the Client and Receiver.
> Thus, it is my belief that section 5 should be tossed, for the following
> reasons:
> 1. It's irrelevant.
> 2. It makes SOAP implementations unnecessarily complex.
> 3. It makes the SOAP technology more difficult to understand and use.
> And most importantly, ...
> 4. It forces focus on a "technical non-issue", whereas users of SOAP
> should instead be focused on operational issues, i.e., defining a good
> contract (schema).
> My 2 cents.  /Roger

------- End of forwarded message -------
Received on Monday, 30 July 2001 20:03:21 UTC

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