Closing issue 200: SOAPAction header and "action" parameter on media type


PS: Please move further discussion to xml-dist-app!

The XML Protocol WG [3] has decided to close issue 199 [0], which you
raised against the SOAP 1.2 specification. I know you have already
raised concern about this solution so let me try and clarify a bit. Note
that this is entirely my own opinion and not necessarily that of the WG.

Attempts of introducing functionality that describes in more detail the
"purpose" of any given HTTP message has been proposed in the past [4] -
you know the one. Similarly, it was one of the purposes of SOAPAction to
identify THIS message as a SOAP message. Simply its presence in the
message indicated this.

As you also know, there was significant pushback on this with the
argument that this is no different than form submissions and other HTTP
messages with payloads described externally to HTTP. Specifically, HTTP
intermediaries have no mechanism to figure out that something is a form
submission ordering a book vs. one ordering a pizza. If it is encrypted
then it can't even see if it is a form submission.

That issue aside, the specific question that was brought up in
discussing [1] was not so much the question of knowing that something is
a SOAP message but rather whether it is our task to define an "opt-out"
solution for other media types in case they don't define a parameter
similar to "action". The conclusion to this discussion was that it isn't
and that this goes for other parameters as well like "charset" and the


The WG has reviewed and accepted the proposed resolution described in
[1] with the "2.A" option and not "2.B".

Thank you,

Henrik Frystyk Nielsen


Received on Wednesday, 1 May 2002 14:49:46 UTC