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Re: Article: Fat protocols slow Web services

From: Gavin Thomas Nicol <gtn@rbii.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2002 10:44:17 -0500
To: xml-dist-app@w3.org
Message-Id: <E16Ohgh-0000bw-00@server2000.ebizhostingsolutions.com>
> over the wild internet as it does over a tame intranet. The points
> that have been raised in this thread about latency, reliability,
> "burstiness" etc. can be managed in an intranet by investments in
> hardware and competent system administration

While this is true, it shouldn't be talen for granted that these 
things are possible.

> Either the internet infrastructure will evolve fast
> enough so that the RPC paradigm continues to scale up and the
> underlying complexity is hidden from the application programmer, or
> it won't and a more loosely coupled, asynchronous model of web
> services delivery will be something that web services developers
> have to deal with.  

There used to be a Sun paper called "Notes on Distributed Programming" 
or somesuch, that was very good at pointing out that the holy grail: 
transparency (transparent local/remote access), is impossible to 
achieve. Over time I have come to appreciate their points.
That said, I should note that gigabit networks are fast enough that 
data transfer  (for example, file copies) sometime suffers from 
bottlenecks in the local machine hardware (disk throughput) before the 
network interferes.

Tim made a point on XML-dev which is very true: namely that the 
server-centric nature of the www, and SOAP et al. in the classic RPC 
mode of use, is a real bottleneck. We need to offload more onto the 
client.

Back in the late 80's, I wrote a system not unlike SOAP/XML-RPC, that 
used straight sockets and S-expressions. We found that for it to work 
well over long distances, clients had to bear a lot of the burden. 
This system was a shared workspace application (whiteboards, files, 
etc), and what we did was offload the state management of onto the 
clients that then sychronized with one another based on a QOS rating 
based on uptime and latency.
Received on Thursday, 10 January 2002 11:05:00 GMT

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