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Formalism in SOAP spec

From: <Noah_Mendelsohn@lotus.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 10:24:00 -0500
To: xml-dist-app@w3.org
Cc: MJones@NetSilicon.com
Message-ID: <OF8E54D529.73DD1574-ON85256B04.00546C96@lotus.com>
Note that the following comments end with a call for more formalism and
precision in the specfication.  While not a specific endorsement of the
current proposed binding framework, it does appear that at least some of
our "customers" are looking for specifications that are more precise and

Noah Mendelsohn                                    Voice: 1-617-693-4036
Lotus Development Corp.                            Fax: 1-617-693-8676
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142

----- Forwarded by Noah Mendelsohn/CAM/Lotus on 11/14/01 10:22 AM -----
                    "Jones, Matthew"                                                                                   
                    <MJones@NetSilicon        To:     <xmlp-comments@w3.org>                                           
                    .com>                     cc:     (bcc: Noah Mendelsohn/CAM/Lotus)                                 
                    Sent by:                  Subject:     Comments on the SOAP 1.2 Specification                      
                    11/09/01 01:13 PM                                                                                  

I have the following comments on the SOAP 1.2 Part 2: Adjuncts document

1.  There is no grammar for describing the structure of a SOAP Message.
There should be a rigorous definition of the structure of the document.
The definition of the structure should include the standard encoding.
The document http://www.w3.org/2001/09/soap-encoding is not adequate.
The preferred strategy would be an EBNF grammar.  I do not feel the
Schema is up to the task and since a SOAP document contains fragments
there is circularity or ambiguity issue.

2.  Section 4.4.2 does not describe how to encode arrays.  The first
example in that section shows a schema and an xml document conforming to
that schema.  It has nothing to do with SOAP encoding.  There is no
reason to ever put an XML Schema in this section it only confuses the
issue, and there is no motivation or explanation why they are there.
What should be there is a rigorous specification of the various ways
that an array can be defined uses that standard encoding.  Providing
multiple examples and lazy and doesn't belong in the core of a
specification (an appendix maybe).  If you can't figure out how to
provided a rigorous specification using, for example, and EBNF then it
is not ready for standardization.

Virtually every section has a similar problem to sections 4.4.2.

I you are serious about providing a useful specification then you will
rewrite the specification to make it a formal specification rather than
a document full of commentary and examples.

Matthew Jones
Received on Wednesday, 14 November 2001 10:49:02 UTC

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