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Re: Is it a good idea to make your WADL available?

From: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2006 10:12:01 -0700
Message-Id: <C567D79C-DF85-45FB-B8F3-7DD221A88A94@mnot.net>
Cc: Sanjiva Weerawarana <sanjiva@wso2.com>, Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>, public-web-http-desc@w3.org
To: Marc Hadley <Marc.Hadley@Sun.COM>

On 2006/09/05, at 5:57 AM, Marc Hadley wrote:

> Personally, even if the above turns out to be the dominant  
> paradigm, I still think there's utility in setting out a map of the  
> available resources and their supported methods and representations  
> and with APP and OpenSearch we already have existence proof that  
> such descriptions are useful. I just hope we can avoid a plethora  
> of such description languages.

Well, *this* Mark agrees. However, as I tried to explain in my  
previous message WRT maps, it's the way that it's used -- on the  
server side as well as client side -- that's important.

This reminds me too much of WS-* land to be a coincidence. A bunch of  
vendors threw a slew of tools over the wall, wrote a few papers about  
how things *should* be done, but the tools didn't really support  
those lofty thoughts too well. End users got confused and often ended  
up going with what was most familiar (RPC, etc.).

Don't get me wrong -- I think WADL is the bee's knees, and very much  
want to see it succeed. However, looking at the landscape of possible  
ways it could help, and possible ways it could hurt, I'm inclined to  
be conservative -- possibly because I'm very directly accountable for  
the recommendations I make :)

That's why I primarily see it as a modelling tool / convenience for  
design time, rather than something to give to clients. Not because  
those clients will misuse it -- as Marc pointed out earlier, they'll  
always find some way to misuse it -- but because it will lead people  
on the server side into the temptation of relying on it.

Of course, the availability of compelling client-side tools that  
encourage good practice might help convince me otherwise.


Mark Nottingham     http://www.mnot.net/
Received on Tuesday, 5 September 2006 17:13:49 UTC

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