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Re: Article: Fat protocols slow Web services

From: Kurt Cagle <kurt@kurtcagle.net>
Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2002 16:31:11 -0800
Message-ID: <000d01c198a4$f09687a0$183436d0@tazy>
To: "Joshua Allen" <joshuaa@microsoft.com>
Cc: <xml-dist-app@w3.org>
Joshua,

I don't disagree with your contention. RPCs over WANs in general are bad
ideas, regardless of whether you're talking about XML, DCOM, RMI or Joe's
handy brokering service, and over connectionless, asynchronous protocols
like HTTP they are even worse. My contention here is that the industry is
moving to an RPC model, though, with the emphasis on technologies like .NET,
and it's this that gets my eye to twitching. You CAN do .NET calls that are
message oriented and asynchronous - but that's not what most people are
hearing; I've heard any number of people saying that they didn't even
realize you could do asynchronous .NET calls.

Asynchronous, message oriented applications have a different design and
architecture from stateful, RPC oriented apps. They change the way that
coding is done, they change the way that applications are built, and they
even alter the expectations of the user base. I think .NET is cool
technology, but I worry that people out there are going to use VB design
principles to build applications that will have a major negative impact on
the web itself. If its just a matter of education, that's great, but I don't
want to see the Internet slow to a crawl as 85% of the developer base learns
how to build asynchronous messaging applications.

-- Kurt Cagle


----- Original Message -----
From: "Joshua Allen" <joshuaa@microsoft.com>
To: "Kurt Cagle" <kurt@kurtcagle.net>; "Roger L. Costello"
<costello@mitre.org>; <xml-dist-app@w3.org>
Sent: Tuesday, January 08, 2002 3:56 PM
Subject: RE: Article: Fat protocols slow Web services


> The most recent rise of XML-based RPC web services is worrisome then
from
> a number of standpoints. SOAP messages ARE big. The current efforts by
a
> number of vendors are typically expanding the relevant bytes being
sent by
> a  factor of ten, you're adding the overhead of security and type
> encoding/decoding, and they are making this technology transparent -
drag
> and drop the requisite Bean or COM control on your form, and you can
start
> writing synchronous RPCs without even knowing that you're doing it.
This
> means that there will be a lot of very badly written web services
that, by
> themselves, work fine, but overall contribute to the degradation of
the
> networks.

Take "XML" out of this, and everything you say is still true.
Synchronous RPC over a WAN is rough, no matter how it is encoded.  I
don't see any evidence at all that the RPC people wrap with XML is worse
than the crazy things people do with RMI and DCOM.

All of the issues you mention are important for *any* synchronous RPC
system.  Encoding is one of the least important issues in most cases, so
if you are implying that finding a less "fat" encoding will solve the
problems you mention, you are misleading people.
Received on Tuesday, 8 January 2002 19:29:37 GMT

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