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RE: Normative constraints on the WSA

From: Newcomer, Eric <Eric.Newcomer@iona.com>
Date: Sat, 17 May 2003 13:50:06 -0400
Message-ID: <DCF6EF589A22A14F93DFB949FD8C4AB20138E0B4@amereast-ems1.IONAGLOBAL.COM>
To: "Walden Mathews" <waldenm@optonline.net>, "Baker, Mark" <distobj@acm.org>, "Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler)" <RogerCutler@chevrontexaco.com>
Cc: <www-ws-arch@w3.org>


The trouble with all this, as we've said many times, is that Web services are not the same as the Web.  They are not indented for the same usage patterns, developer audience, or business model.  

Let's especially remember that technology by itself is useless - it is only useful within the context of its application.  Web services are not intended to solve the same problem as the Web, and businesses are not interested in academic exercises like REST and other characterizations of what is "good" vs "bad" architecture, what is "ancient" vs "modern" etc.

I doubt Web services are progress.  But I don't think that's bad, since they have significant application in business.  The Web does not.

Let's please forget about REST, the Semantic Web, and the other academic exercises and focus on solving problems for business.  

The W3C is already in danger of losing its relevance in Web services, but perhaps that's self evident by the traffic on this list, which grows increasingly "REST-ish" and less and less oriented toward improving Web services as they have been accepted.

Criticisms founded on purely technical grounds or on the subject of "architectural purity" completely miss the point of what we need to do.  At the end of the day, marketplace acceptance is the only measure that matters for a standard, and the current Web services have been widely adopted.  

None of these purity arguments are going to change commercial reality.  But they can take us further and further away from being relevant.

I know exactly what the "Web heads" (sorry Spidey!) are going to say:  The Web is a commercial and marketplace success.  Sure it is.  It's great for publishing, academic research, and a certain amount of retail commerce.  But that does not mean it is also going to succeed at Web services.  Almost by definition it is not, since it hasn't.

So - anyone out there on this list still want to work on Web services?  Or should we just give in and say that Web services are the same as the Web?


-----Original Message-----
From: Walden Mathews [mailto:waldenm@optonline.net]
Sent: Saturday, May 17, 2003 10:21 AM
To: Baker, Mark; Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler)
Cc: www-ws-arch@w3.org
Subject: Re: Normative constraints on the WSA


I pretty much agree with you, except that I don't think it's
so much about never relaxing constraints as it is about preserving
most of what succeeds, and allowing slow evolution.  You
could break the system just as easily by adding the wrong constraints
as you could by relaxing, judiciously, some existing ones.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Baker" <distobj@acm.org>
To: "Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler)" <RogerCutler@chevrontexaco.com>
Cc: <www-ws-arch@w3.org>
Sent: Saturday, May 17, 2003 9:43 AM
Subject: Re: Normative constraints on the WSA

> On Sat, May 17, 2003 at 03:39:46AM -0500, Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler)
> > I don't think that anything in the architecture of the Web, at least as
> > I see it articulated by the TAG or the charter of the WSAWG, says or
> > implies that the Web must remain the same forever.  As I've stated it,
> > this may seem like a tautology or perhaps as a personally intended slur
> > (not intended this way at all), but I'm beginning to think that in
> > essence this, or something like it, is a point of real difference of
> > opinion and approach.
> Not at all.  But you don't see improvement by relaxing constraints and
> removing the very properties that got us to where we are today.  You
> see improvement by *adding* new constraints.  I welcome all innovation
> on the Web that does just that (see KnowNow), and I reject all
> "innovation" to the contrary; it isn't innovation, it's taking us back
> between 20 and 30 years in the evolution of large scale distributed
> systems.
> MB
> --
> Mark Baker.   Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.        http://www.markbaker.ca
> Web architecture consulting, technical reports, evaluation & analysis
>   Actively seeking contract work or employment
Received on Saturday, 17 May 2003 13:52:39 UTC

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