W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > xml-dist-app@w3.org > September 2001

RE: Proposed text for XMLBase

From: Champion, Mike <Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com>
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2001 16:54:58 -0400
Message-ID: <9A4FC925410C024792B85198DF1E97E4013C29F3@usmsg03.sagus.com>
To: xml-dist-app@w3.org

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Noah_Mendelsohn@lotus.com [mailto:Noah_Mendelsohn@lotus.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 6:02 PM
> To: xml-dist-app@w3.org
> Subject: Proposed text for XMLBase
> On the telephone call this afternoon, I took a "to do" to 
> propose text for the use of XMLBase with SOAP. 

We discussed this more in today's call, and the resolution was to touch base
with a number of interested parties and re-visit the issue later.  I'd like
to express the opinion that we should adopt something like Noah's propoposed
language however this process turns out.

> "This version of the SOAP specification does not support the 
> W3C XML Base Recommendation.  The xml:base attribute SHOULD NOT appear on
> SOAP-ENV:Envelope, SOAP-ENV:Body, SOAP-ENV:Header, or SOAP-ENV:Fault
> elements;  processors receiving messages with such xml:base attributes
> SHOULD generate a XXXXXX fault (details TBD).

A number of objections were raised raised against this proposal (the factual
basis for which will be clarified, but let's take them at face value for
this discussion).  

1) "SOAP is XML; anything supported in the XML InfoSet/syntax should be
legal in SOAP"

I'm very concerned that this approach leads inevitably to a snowballing
complexity of XML related specifications.  If every spec has to support
every other spec, we produce an indigestible hairball of a super-spec rather
than a clean hierarchy of specs (and code modules implementing them) that
build on what they need and only what they need.  Furthermore, SOAP is
intended to be a universal wire format for communications between everything
from mainframes to phones and perhaps even wristwatches.  It stands to
reason that the bigger the spec, the harder it will be to implement
effectively on very small devices.  If SOAP 1.2 raises the implementation
bar too high, a de-facto quasi-standardized subset will become the "real"
SOAP spec supported in the field, which means that the W3C Activity will
have failed to do what it set out to do.

2) "The W3C Processing Models Workshop seemed to come to a consensus that
XML+namespaces+xml:base should be the foundation of all future specs."

As was pointed out on the conference call, this may or may not be true, but
in any event there is no normative Recommendation in place that expresses
this view.  If such a Recommendation is issued, then a future iteration of
SOAP can support xml:base.

3) "SOAP should help promote the advancement of modern XML constructs such
as xml:base"  (A paraphrase of what I understood Martin Gudgin to be saying
on the call).

I just don't think it is SOAP's job to advance XML; I think it's XML's job
to provide an infrastructure for SOAP.  Interoperability is best ensured by
staying away from the boundaries, not "pushing the envelope".   

OK, I realize that xml:base per se is pretty simple and probably won't push
the envelope or create significant new problems for small devices, but I'm
very concerned that we keep the larger considerations in mind as we debate
the specific xml:base issue.

Mike Champion
Received on Wednesday, 5 September 2001 16:55:05 UTC

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