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RE: Semantics of WSDL vs. semantics of service

From: Shi, Xuan <xshi@GEO.WVU.edu>
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2006 15:06:06 -0500
Message-ID: <D81F456794C18B4DA3E2ABC47DBBEEF2094FCB@www.geo.wvu.edu>
To: "'Jacek Kopecky '" <jacek.kopecky@deri.org>, "Shi, Xuan" <xshi@GEO.WVU.edu>
Cc: "'public-sws-ig@w3.org '" <public-sws-ig@w3.org>


Yes, you are right-your service is waiting for <symbol>exmp</symbol>, not
<CompanyName>. Did you remember what I told Carine before? Your server will
ignore any other input message unless such message follow your pre-defined
template, as we know machine is not intelligent enough?

So if we have standardized plug and receptacle interfaces, then we can focus
on the *semanitcs* of the service now without considering the varied
definitions within different interface documents (WSDL). 

Who can define the semantics of services and functions? As you see, you have
some different ideas from the others. So we cannot have an interoperable
semantics for the same service and function by your typical example. Then
could you remember what I suggested before as that, we need more standard
and agreement that should be formulated by W3C or ISO, other than individual
service providers? Otherwise, we have to use something to tell the
requesters that <symbol>exmp</symbol> in your service is equivalent to
<CompanyName> in others which all provide the same stock quote service.
Without standard and agreement, we may have to waste lots of energy, time
and money to match the semantic chaos and eventually tell the service
requesters that, input A in Functional Interface AA of Service AAA is the
same meaning as input B in Functional Interface BB of Service BBB. 

As for the difference between a WSDL description and my proposed description
document, I think my discussion on the shared service semantic description
for geocoding Web services offerred by different service providers in
different version already demonstrated such fundamental difference among
them. Please reference them at:


Thanks very much again for your kind attention and suggestions.

Best wishes,


-----Original Message-----
From: Jacek Kopecky
To: Shi, Xuan
Cc: public-sws-ig@w3.org
Sent: 3/20/06 2:32 PM
Subject: RE: Semantics of WSDL vs. semantics of service


if you send what you described below, my service will fault because it
expects element <symbol>exmp</symbol>, not <CompanyName> etc.

What I'm getting at is that the provider chooses what the service
accepts, and two providers will generally choose two different formats.
It all can be written down as doService(String):String, but that only
tells you that you that there is a request and that there is a
response*. However, to successfully invoke my service, you need to know
what I expect. You call it service description template, we call it

(*)Let's not even go into different message exchange patterns here.

Maybe your templates are easier for people on some simple cases, but
that has no bearing on what we are trying to do here. SWS is about
automating WS usage. If I ask my computer how much is 3+4, it should be
able to find suitable services (addition), choose the best one (cheapest
or fastest), adapt itself to the syntactical requirements of the chosen
service (like two ints called x and y, or two doubles called a1 and a2),
form the correct message and send it to the service, then parse the
response (int z, or double rslt) and give me the result 7.

For all of this, WSDL is equivalent to your description language of
choice, and with SA-WSDL we want to be able to say that operation "add"
will compute the sum of the two numerical arguments, and that elements x
and y are those arguments, and that element z is the sum.

Do you have an issue with this? If so, what is the issue concretely?


On Mon, 2006-03-20 at 12:44 -0500, Shi, Xuan wrote:
> Jacek,
> I know there's a plethora of functions that are provided by Web
> and we have to consider data format issues, etc. as service providers.
> I stressed is that, the interface designed for requesters can be
> from that for the providers. When service requesters send a request to
> service providers through the standardized interface
> (doService(String):String), service providers will then differentiate
> data types are specified within the service description document.
> For example, in a stock quote service, I send you the following
elements in
> the XML document,
>   <s:element minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1" name="CompanyName"
> /> 
>   <s:element minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1" name="StockTicker"
> /> 
>   <s:element minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1" name="StockQuote"
> /> 
>   <s:element minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1" name="LastUpdated"
> /> 
>   <s:element minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1" name="Change" type="s:string"
>   <s:element minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1" name="OpenPrice"
type="s:string" />
>   <s:element minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1" name="DayHighPrice"
> /> 
>   <s:element minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1" name="DayLowPrice"
> /> 
>   <s:element minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1" name="Volume" type="s:string"
>   <s:element minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1" name="MarketCap"
type="s:string" />
>   <s:element minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1" name="YearRange"
type="s:string" />
>   <s:element minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1" name="ExDividendDate"
> type="s:string" /> 
>   <s:element minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1" name="DividendYield"
> type="s:string" /> 
>   <s:element minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1" name="DividendPerShare"
> type="s:string" />
> although, they are all in string data types, but once you process the
> request, you understand which one is a string, which one is an integer
> double data type, which one is a date data type, in your programming.
> this case, you handle all such conversions on your server side.
However, for
> the service requesters, they just need to send you such a request
> without considering the data type issues.
> As I demonstrated before, I can invoke both geocoding and data
> services through such a standardized interface. As a service provider,
> know which elements are string data types in the programming, and
which ones
> are double data types. The requesters do not need to care about such
> In that example, I showed that two different kind of functions in
> web services can be implemented by one interface. That's the same
analogy in
> comparing to the case of consuming electricity via standardized plug
> receptacle. In my dissertation research, I developed different kind of
> services for geocoding, data conversion, data processing, spatial
query and
> analysis, integrated mapping, etc. ALL of them just have the same
> (doService(String):String). 
> Please describe any of your use cases, and let's see if such a request
> be sent through (doService(String):String) interface to the service
> provider. As I told Carine before, the service description template is
> pre-defined by service provider. Supposed you are a service provider
and you
> pre-define a service description template. If I send you such a
> following your pre-defined templage, can you handle such a request to
> differentiate whatever data types embedded in such a document to match
> in your programming language? I wish you could try it first to see if
it is
> feasible to develop standardized plug and receptacle interfaces for
all of
> your services and functions.
> Best wishes,
> Xuan
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jacek Kopecky
> To: Shi, Xuan
> Cc: 'Bijan Parsia '; 'Carine Bournez '; 'public-sws-ig@w3.org ';
> Steven '
> Sent: 3/20/06 11:47 AM
> Subject: RE: Semantics of WSDL vs. semantics of service
> Xuan, 
> the problem is that Web Service interfaces are not so well
> as electrical plug interfaces, and that's because there's a plethora
> functions that are provided by Web services, as opposed to the one
> function provided by the electricity company.
> In particular, I don't expect that the interface of my stock quote
> service should match the interface of your address lookup service.
> if the operation is the same (doService(String):String), we will
> on the data formats and on what we actually perform. WSDL describes
> data formats and WSDL-S tries to point to a description of what we
> actually perform.
> I'm afraid you have a simplified or idealistic view on what Web
> (should) look like.
> Jacek
> On Mon, 2006-03-20 at 09:56 -0500, Shi, Xuan wrote:
> > It seems you all just ignore the title of this thread as "Semantics
> > vs. semantics of service" and Bijan just could not answer my
> to him
> > as why do I need to care about how many bindings he
> > has for one operation? Or, why do I need to understand the semantics
> of his
> > WSDL document?
> > 
> > Given a simple example, we are all the consumers or service
> of
> > certain electricity company. Do we need to care about the
> infrastructure and
> > the framework of the electricity company before we consume such
> service? Do
> > we need to care about how many bindings the electricity company has,
> and,
> > how they switch to any other bindings to maintain its operations to
> support
> > the service it provides? Definitely not!
> > 
> > As service providers, can we give more consideration for our service
> > requesters? We can consume the electricity in the same interoperable
> > appraoch because every plug and receptacle are all standardized. In
> that
> > way, the service requesters do not need to care about your complex
> > infrastructure, framework, logics, etc. People access "Web" services
> in the
> > same situation.
> > 
> > So, please encapsulte all troubles into your server side
> > Service requesters only need one standardized receptacle so that
> can
> > use any interoperable plug to consume the service with little
> question. They
> > don't need to know how many bindings you have to maintain your
> > operation. We are service providers, not trouble makers.
> > 
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Bijan Parsia
> > To: Jacek Kopecky
> > Cc: Carine Bournez; public-sws-ig@w3.org; Battle, Steven
> > Sent: 3/20/06 8:09 AM
> > Subject: Re: Semantics of WSDL vs. semantics of service
> > 
> > 
> > On Mar 20, 2006, at 5:39 AM, Jacek Kopecky wrote:
> > 
> > > Hi Steve,
> > >
> > > while the charter does not directly support embedded semantic
> > > annotations, I think the issue is still open and up for discussion
> by
> > > the WG.
> > 
> > I went back and looked and the Scope section is a bit broken (as 
> > evidenced by Steve's quote):
> > 
> > """The Semantic Annotations for WSDL Working Group is chartered to 
> > define one or more properties of WSDL 2.0 components to point to 
> > additional semantics to concepts represented by those components,
> > interface, operation, endpoint. Additionally, the Working Group may 
> > define annotations to the schema structure to point to external 
> > semantics.""""
> > 
> > "point to additional semantics to concepts" just doesn't parse. 
> > Additional semantics *for* concepts represented?
> > 
> > I confess to hating the term "external semantics". C'mon.
> > 
> > > I for one see some use cases where embedding the annotations would
> be
> > > useful, and I can see at least two ways of embedding them: put a
> whole
> > > semantic description
> > 
> > I go back to a fight I had in SWSL. What's a *non* semantic
> description?
> > 
> > >  document somewhere in the WSDL document (like we
> > > put schemas in the <types> section) and then the annotations will
> > point
> > > into the document; or put the full annotations themselves on the
> spot,
> > > instead of referring to them.
> > 
> > How are the "semantics" to be realized? Via some sort of statement 
> > (e.g., axioms in some formalism). So let's say I have a set of
> > and property names, but no further axiomization. And I want to say
> > some operation that is has at least one P relation to a C. Now since

> > there *is* no other axiom, this characterized the terms entirely
> > far). May I inline that? It seems like I should be able to. 
> > Alternatively, I could require that I always coin a name for these 
> > intermediate expressions (but why?).
> > 
> > (Note that originally I interpreted the discussion as requiring *all

> > parts* of the annotation to be outside the WSDL document, a la
> > There are reasonable reasons for doing this (including supporting
> third 
> > party and alternative annotations seamlessly. Technically, I guess
> this 
> > is not ruled out by the current charter since the concrete syntax of

> > the component properties could be or be required to be in a separate

> > document.
> > 
> > > While the second option can be seen as out of scope as defined in
> the
> > > charter, at least the first option should be available to us. 8-)
> > 
> > I find the Out of Scope more disturbing:
> > 
> > """discuss expression of Web services constraints and capabilities, 
> > including precondition and effect."""
> > 
> > Why? And how can this be at all narrowed? I mean, from the scope, " 
> > could have different meanings: calculation of tax on a product, 
> > calculation of income tax, etc. " Aren't these expressions of 
> > capabilities? (I recognize that constraints and capabilties are a
> > of art standing for "policy", but still.)
> > 
> > Cheers,
> > Bijan.
> > 
> > 
Received on Monday, 20 March 2006 20:06:43 UTC

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