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RE: What does http://www.w3.org/TR/SOAP identify?

From: <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 14:05:04 -0500
To: "Dare Obasanjo" <dareo@microsoft.com>
Cc: "Mark Baker" <distobj@acm.org>, "Martin Gudgin" <mgudgin@microsoft.com>, "Williams, Stuart" <skw@hp.com>, www-tag@w3.org, fallside@us.ibm.com
Message-ID: <OF74ADA509.AA607698-ON85256E1D.005D691D@lotus.com>

Dare Obasanjo writes:

>> I find it quite irritating that the 
>> SOAP working group did not follow 
>> the practices of other working 
>> groups such as XML Query working group 
>> and choose a new URI for the subsequent version. 

I'm curious, when and if XML 1.1 goes to recommendation status, do we 
expect that http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-xml will be redirected to point to 
1.1?  I would have thought so. 

The SOAP situation seems quite parallel.  It would have been possible for 
someone 3 years go to have made the statement that 
"http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-xml does not consider Unicode NEL (#x85) as a new line character".  That statement would in retrospect have been 
true for some time, but would become wrong at the time the URI was 
redirected to XML 1.1.  No doubt the changes from SOAP 1.1 to SOAP 1.2 are 
somewhat more extensive, notably the change of namespace, but SOAP 1.2 is 
very much a successor to SOAP 1.1, with almost identical overall features 
and use cases. 

There is indeed a serious practical issue in this particular case having 
to do with the large number of existing publications that have used 
http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-xml to refer specifically to SOAP 1.1.  In 
retrospect, I believe that we dug a hole 3 years ago, at which time we 
should have assigned:

http://www.w3.org/TR/SOAP -> Latest version of SOAP, moves from SOAP 1.1 
to SOAP 1.2 as recommendations are published
http://www.w3.org/TR/SOAP1.1 -> Changes only for bug fixes and errata to 

or some such. 

We didn't do that, so now there's a problem. 

It may be that keeping TR/SOAP for SOAP 1.1 is the least of the evils in 
practice at this point, but I don't think it's much of a precedent for how 
to do things right.  I think that in principle there's nothing wrong with 
the redirection that XMLP has proposed to do.  In future, I think the 
guidance should be:  "when first publishing a spec that's likely to have a 
future, create and document URIs that will usefully distinguish the latest 
versions of all forms that are likely to be of interest moving forward, as 
well as URIs in date space that uniquely identify each version as 

By the way, I've also seen a proposal from Chris Ferris to have 
http://www.w3.org/TR/SOAP take you to a page that gives you a choice of 
specs.  Not ideal, but certainly another option.  As I say, we blew it 
when SOAP first came out, so now all the choices are compromises.

Noah Mendelsohn 
IBM Corporation
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142

"Dare Obasanjo" <dareo@microsoft.com>
Sent by: www-tag-request@w3.org
01/16/04 11:30 AM

        To:     <www-tag@w3.org>, "Mark Baker" <distobj@acm.org>, "Williams, Stuart" 
        cc:     "Martin Gudgin" <mgudgin@microsoft.com>, (bcc: Noah 
        Subject:        RE: What does http://www.w3.org/TR/SOAP identify?

>-----Original Message-----
>From: www-tag-request@w3.org [mailto:www-tag-request@w3.org] 
>On Behalf Of Mark Baker
>Sent: Friday, January 16, 2004 4:49 AM
>To: Williams, Stuart
>Cc: www-tag@w3.org
>Subject: Re: What does http://www.w3.org/TR/SOAP identify?
>FWIW, if you consult the Google Oracle for backlinks ...
>You'll see that most of those pages use the URI to refer to 
>SOAP 1.1, rather than "SOAP in general".

In fact Googling for "SOAP 1.1" brings up http://www.w3.org/TR/SOAP  as
the first URI returned. I find it quite irritating that the SOAP working
group did not follow the practices of other working groups such as XML
Query working group and choose a new URI for the subsequent version. 

PS: By the way, this points out an inconsistency in URI naming policies
by the W3C.

Entropy isn't what it used to be.

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no
Received on Friday, 16 January 2004 14:05:36 UTC

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