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RE: Formalism in SOAP spec

From: Henrik Frystyk Nielsen <henrikn@microsoft.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 08:23:45 -0800
Message-ID: <79107D208BA38C45A4E45F62673A434D058017F9@red-msg-07.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
To: <Noah_Mendelsohn@lotus.com>, <xml-dist-app@w3.org>
Cc: <MJones@NetSilicon.com>

I may misunderstand the intent but it seems that the discussion hints at
XML schema not being useful for formally defining the structure of the
envelope and that we instead should be using EBNF. If the question
really is to use schema or not then I think that is a more fundamental
discussion that seems to apply to more than just SOAP.

Henrik Frystyk Nielsen

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Noah_Mendelsohn@lotus.com [mailto:Noah_Mendelsohn@lotus.com] 
>Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2001 07:24
>To: xml-dist-app@w3.org
>Cc: MJones@NetSilicon.com
>Subject: Formalism in SOAP spec
>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 formal.
>Noah Mendelsohn                                    Voice: 
>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:     
>                    .com>                     cc:     (bcc: 
>Noah Mendelsohn/CAM/Lotus)                                 
>                    Sent by:                  Subject:     
>Comments on the SOAP 1.2 Specification                      
>                    xmlp-comments-requ                         
>                    est@w3.org                                 
>                    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 11:24:36 UTC

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