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RE: Proposal for dealing with issue 200: SOAPAction header vs. ac tion parameter

From: Williams, Stuart <skw@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 10:44:14 +0100
Message-ID: <5E13A1874524D411A876006008CD059F192AE2@0-mail-1.hpl.hp.com>
To: "'Mark Baker'" <distobj@acm.org>, Henrik Frystyk Nielsen <henrikn@microsoft.com>
Cc: xml-dist-app@w3.org
Hi Mark,

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mark Baker [mailto:distobj@acm.org]
> Sent: 18 April 2002 02:31
> To: Henrik Frystyk Nielsen
> Cc: xml-dist-app@w3.org
> Subject: Re: Proposal for dealing with issue 200: SOAPAction 
> header vs.
> action parameter
> 

<snip/>

> > 2) This is the trickiest part - one of the important reasons for having
> > a known content type is to indicate that *this* is a SOAP message. If
> > two parties are not using a known content type then that information
> > clearly is not there anymore. I can think of two ways to go:
> > 
> > 2.A) We leave it entirely up to the media type being used to indicate in
> > some manner that this is a SOAP message.
> > 
> > 2.B) We maintain the SOAPAction in some manner (for example in an
> > appendix) that allows is to be used with content types other than
> > "application/soap+xml" indicating that this is a SOAP message.
> 
> Right.
> 
> I don't believe that we can rule out 2A in the future, so I think the
> answer is both.  For now, IMO that means taking action on 2B to soften
> up the wording about recommending that SOAPAction not be required.

The presense of a SOAPAction header to signify that whatever 'tarball' there
might be in the HTTP message body contains a SOAP message seems like a good
idea. It would provide a means to do this independent of content-type, which
also seems like a good idea, particularly in the light of the use of the
Content-Type: Multipart/Related by SOAP with Attachments. I don't think that
we can just go adding parameters like "action" that pre-existing
media-types.

I don't think that the presense of SOAPAction has ever be controvertial as a
means to indicate that an HTTP body contains a SOAP message, however it
happens to be wrapped.

The piece that is/was controvertial, was the significance of the action
value carried in the SOAPAction header. IIRC the intent of the resolution
[1] was to ensure that the value carried in SOAPAction header be regarded as
a 'hint' and that correct operation at a recipient *not* be dependent on SA
being set correctly - but it could be used to optimise message processing.

I think a proposal for a header whose sole purpose is to signify the
presense of a SOAP message could be successful. I think that a proposal that
seeks to attribute more significance to the action value than its current
significance as a hint will be problematic in the light of [1].

Personnally, I think that the SOAPAction header as currently specified does
what it does on a way that is independent of the media-type.

If I were going to choose one mechanism I'd stick with the SOAPAction header
that we currently have. However, I may be that I have not understood the
merits of moving it being a parameter of the media-type - that seems to
restrict the leverage of existing media types.

I can see the worms beginning to wriggle as I look inside the can :-)

<snip/>

> MB
> -- 
> Mark Baker, Chief Science Officer, Planetfred, Inc.
> Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.      mbaker@planetfred.com
> http://www.markbaker.ca   http://www.planetfred.com

Regards

Stuart

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/xml-dist-app/2001Sep/0091.html
Received on Thursday, 18 April 2002 05:45:04 GMT

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