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Re: HTTPSOAP - was SOAPAction Proposal

From: John J. Barton <John_Barton@hpl.hp.com>
Date: Mon, 07 May 2001 13:19:59 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: "Kurt Cagle" <cagle@olywa.net>, <xml-dist-app@w3.org>
At 03:20 PM 5/5/2001 -0500, Kurt Cagle wrote:
>* Almost all form information is sent via a POST mechanism, which would lend
>itself perfectly to a SOAP container. Yet so far I've seen very little
>effort to look at mapping such posts into a standard SOAP protocol.

Please look at [1]; still rates as a little effort, but it directly
addresses the issue you raise.  In summary we propose to embed a SOAP
message prototype in the header of a web page containing a form, then
we allow those form elements to edit the prototype.  Pressing the submit
function posts a SOAP message based on the downloaded prototype.

[1] http://www.hpl.hp.com/personal/John_Barton/XFORMs/MethodPostXMLP.htm

>* In order to utilize SOAP from a browser, you have to instantiate some form
>of HTTP socket and send the information this way, which necessarily means
>tying XML to some form of scripting language. However, browsers (whether of
>the HTML type or of the smaller handheld types) will still be the vehicle
>that makes use of the largest number of web services for years to come.

Obviously I disagree that scripting is required, but then again my proposal is
formulated for XML-forms (XFORMs).  There is a continuous spectrum of
possible solutions here, ranging from modification of browsers+scripting to
XFORMs enhancement. I chose the declarative but speculative extreme since
I don't get paid to modify today's browsers ;-).

>* Because of the second contention, SOAP places a burden on such devices to
>also support scripting capability.
>To me, it would seem to make sense to develop at the very least an interrim
>bridge SOAP protocol that can be invoked via a URL mechanism.  Such a
>service might be relatively limited in some respects -- it might lack
>authentication support for instance, and hence only work for "public"
>services, but its a start. Otherwise, I think that what's going to happen is
>that SOAP will develop as a high tier service for business consumption that
>never permeates to the level of the individual; as one of the big "selling
>points" of such web services is that it will enable the development of
>solutions that benefit these same individuals, I have to wonder if there
>isn't some disconnect here.

Well, I think what's going to happen is that XMLP will become the preferred
means for integrating services with digital handheld appliances.  I don't
think you can get any closer to individuals than putting SOAP in their hands.

John.  ...couldn't resist...
John J. Barton          email:  John_Barton@hpl.hp.com
MS 1U-17  Hewlett-Packard Labs
1501 Page Mill Road              phone: (650)-236-2888
Palo Alto CA  94304-1126         FAX:   (650)-857-5100
Received on Monday, 7 May 2001 16:19:09 UTC

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