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RE: REST wrap-up (was Re: Web Services Architecture Document

From: Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler) <RogerCutler@chevrontexaco.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2004 11:43:36 -0600
Message-ID: <7FCB5A9F010AAE419A79A54B44F3718E031328FC@bocnte2k3.boc.chevrontexaco.net>
To: "Mark Baker" <distobj@acm.org>
Cc: www-ws-arch@w3.org

Hmm.  Well, although I agree with both Eric (one last trout) and Mike's
comments -- you are asking reasonable questions very politely -- as you
always are -- so let me answer as best I can.

Mostly I am in the (a) camp, subject, of course, to the techniques on
which there is pervasive agreement actually working.  In general,
however, when pervasive agreement occurs in a gradual and iterative
manner, as it usually does, things usually work one way or another.  And
I see no reason why this should not be the case here.  I know you don't
agree, but that's my take.

I think b) raises more complex issues than may be be apparent, and I
think that in the main I would say that the way the question is posed
reflects some underlying assumptions that I don't share.  I think I'll
pass on that one.  So I am probably more in the c) camp.  I think Web
services (in the implementations that make extensive use of the SOAP
headers -- let's not forget that at least some REST-style Web services
are a subset of what we are calling Web services) have sufficient
visibility for what they are intended to do, which is not everything for
everybody.  And, as I have said before, I think that there are
circumstances where the REST-style Web services are probably
appropriate, but the issue on which that turns in my mind is not really
visibility so much as it is simplicity.

As usual, it strikes me that these conversations are troubled by the
participants having different underlying assumptions which causes them
to be talking about different things but use the same words.  For
example, when Mike talks about the REST style of Web services he is
probably talking about the sort of thing that is implemented right now
(e.g. the Amazon service), whereas it seems to me that you may have in
mind what one might do with an HTTP spec to which things have been
added.  The term "visibility" seems to mean different things to
different people, and this seems to be caused by different underlying
assumptions.  And I think that your expectations for scaling are quite
different from mine.  I am primarily interested in the use of Web
services for business processes that tend to be quite controlled.  This
is, in flavor, quite different from the chaotic, perhaps almost
anarchic, use of the Web itself.  I know that there are those who think
that there is a business potential that involves much more automation,
including in areas that I would classify as semantic or legal, and which
scales in a manner more like the Web itself -- but I personally just
don't buy that, at least in any time scale relevant to my career.
(Although I am getting kind of old ...)

Bear in mind that these are my personal opinions, for what they are
worth. They reflect neither a consensus of the ex-WG nor the company for
which I work.

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Baker [mailto:distobj@acm.org] 
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2004 7:12 AM
To: Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler)
Cc: www-ws-arch@w3.org
Subject: Re: REST wrap-up (was Re: Web Services Architecture Document

Roger, one followup question, if you don't mind.  Would you say that you
hold the position you do because;

a) you believe that pervasive agreement on a form of solution is a
sufficient criteria for success, no matter what form that solution

b) your understanding of the architecture of very large scale systems
suggests that a large degree of visibility[1] is not necessary

c) you believe that Web services have sufficient visibility

d) some combination of the above?

e) some other reason(s)?

I'd like to hear what others think too.  I'm just trying to understand.


Thanks a lot.

On Fri, Jan 30, 2004 at 11:02:52AM -0600, Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler)
> Although I have not put the time and effort into studying it enough to

> be very sure, what I have seen of the REST-like solutions you have 
> proposed or described to problems addressed by Web services indicates 
> to me that it COULD have been done that way and that it would have 
> worked. In fact, it's even possible that it would have worked better 
> and that it would have been better had it been done that way.  I don't

> really know that this is the case, but I think it's possible it might 
> be.  I also think it's utterly irrelevant.  What's done is done, and 
> the world ain't goin that way.

Mark Baker.   Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.        http://www.markbaker.ca
Received on Friday, 6 February 2004 12:44:02 UTC

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