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RE: text/xml for SOAP is incorrect

From: Andrew Layman <andrewl@microsoft.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001 10:55:39 -0700
Message-ID: <C3729BBB6099B344834634EC67DE4AE102623B09@red-msg-01.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
To: <xml-dist-app@w3.org>
Cc: <dave@scripting.com>
But if intermediaries are going to distinguish SOAP from non-SOAP xml,
would not some intermediaries need to further distinguish among classes
of SOAP messages?  Suppose that facilities are invented that add digital
signatures or encryption, for example.  Might not some intermediaries
desire to distinguish such secured SOAP messages from other SOAP
messages?  If so, do we end up with "application/crypto+dsig+soap+xml"?
This seems like a very slippery slope we are setting out on.

And, if we embark on names such as "application/crypto+dsig+soap+xml",
then how do we designate which crypto spec is being referenced?  Which
dsig spec?  This is contrary to the decentralized naming in URLs that
made the web grow so fast and successfully. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Nottingham [mailto:mnot@mnot.net] 
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2001 9:42 AM
To: Jacek Kopecky
Cc: christopher ferris; Henrik Frystyk Nielsen; christopher ferris;
Subject: Re: text/xml for SOAP is incorrect

I think that's the intent of the '+xml' - to allow MIME processors
identify it as an XML format.

My concern is not so much dispatch - which is what the request-uri
should be used for, at any rate - but for identifying the messages as
being formatted to the SOAP conventions for those that will casually
handle them, such as intermediaries.

We've decided to run the HTTP binding on port 80, and to use HTTP status
codes to indicate SOAP semantics. SOAPAction is optional. If SOAP 1.2
messages use application/xml, there is no easy way to identify a message
as SOAP. As a result, parts of the Web infrastructure may treat SOAP
messages as any old XML, performing transforms, etc. Additionally,
firewall vendors won't even have a stop-gap means of controlling the
flow of SOAP messages.

Is our intent to effectively hide the use of SOAP? Doing so seems to
risk both interoperability problems and the appearance that we're
antagonistic to firewalls, etc.

On Wed, Sep 19, 2001 at 02:55:26PM +0200, Jacek Kopecky wrote:
>  Chris,
>  To explain my position: I am wary of application/soap and 
> application/soap+xml because it won't usually allow generic processing

> as if it were XML. It's true that the usability of such generic 
> processing is debatable, but I don't immediately see the advantages of

> application/soap...  either (when I strike out what I feel is misuse -

> that would be the dispatching usecase).
>                             Jacek Kopecky
>                             Idoox
>                             http://www.idoox.com/
> P.S: 21st century started on Sep 11, 2001
> On Wed, 19 Sep 2001, christopher ferris wrote:
>  > Henrik,
>  >
>  > Certainly you agree that SOAP is it's own thing.
>  > It just happens to also be XML. SOAP has its own process
>  > model. Why the resistance to a soap-specific
>  > media type? Certainly seems mostly harmless to me.
>  >
>  > Cheers,
>  >
>  > Chris
>  >
>  > Henrik Frystyk Nielsen wrote:
>  > >
>  > > >Sure, why not? You can reflect the SOAP version in a MIME  > > 
> >"version" parameter on the Content-Type header. Dispatchers  > > >can

> choose whether to use this (or not) as they see fit. A  > > >SOAP 
> processor can make the determination as to support of the  > > 
> >namespace by inspecting the namespace and further dispatching  > > 
> >as needed (or loading the right modules, schema, whatever).  > >
>  > > How is this different from regular XML processing to the degree
that it
>  > > requires a special content type?
>  > >
>  > > Henrik

Mark Nottingham
Received on Wednesday, 19 September 2001 13:59:05 UTC

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