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

Header/Details Considered Harmful

From: Jones, Matthew <MJones@NetSilicon.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 13:59:48 -0700
Message-ID: <AD77174F26BFD411BE7B00508BFDF562012427@newbury.netsilicon.com>
To: <xml-dist-app@w3.org>
I think there are some issues with the Header and detail elemets.

1.  The content of a Header and detail is XML but it is not processed by
the SOAP engine it is content for the application.  Therefore this
requires the application to have an XML parser or for the SOAP engine to
build a tree structure.

2.  Header processing, for example, is made easy because Java comes with
very sohphisticated XML tools and therefore it is easy to serialize or
print out XML documents, this allowed the very nice implementation from
Apache.  Is it realistic to expect the infrastructure Java provides in
all environements.

3.  At least for an RPC use case I can't image why we would need header.
Isn't the purpose of RPC just to expose a function prototype, isn't the
Header just going to add environment that just clouds the
implementation.  The example in the SOAP specification seems to be about
making the call part of a transaction, wouldn't a more straight forward
implementation have a call to initialize a transaction and return a
handle and then pass that handle into the subsequent calls.

Many environments in which SOAP would be useful won't have SAX parsers,
nor be able to automatically serialize and deserialize the way Java can.
I think there needs to more consideration of environements which don't
have the typical enterprise capabilities.

Matthew Jones
mjones@netsilicon.com
Received on Monday, 24 September 2001 16:59:50 GMT

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