It’s like this: The WS-* project’s attempt to re-invent RPC and pretend that you can successfully take an object-model view of networked applications looks increasingly fanciful, in the general case. On the other hand, Microsoft’s Merry Men slaved away on Indigo, worked around the horrors of XSD and WSDL, built some pretty good Visual Studio tooling, and shipped DCOM, the Next Generation WCF; now it’s the way Windows wants to be talked to over the net. Which is why the Java ecosystem has things like WSIT, built into JAX-WS; you may not like Windows but everyone has to talk to it.

Thus, I find a certain irony in the recent flurry of narrative from WCF insiders on the virtues of REST, the centrality of the URI, and the advantages of using GET whenever you can. And it’s not just talk, it’s manifesting in “.NET Framework 3.5 (a.k.a. ‘Orcas’)”; those holding forth have included Don Box, Omri Gazitt, and Steve Maine (and again and especially again).

Notable reactions include Jef Newsom’s Some Interesting History and David Ing’s Simple Object Apology Protocol.

I suppose that in the Big Picture, this is a good thing; since we all need to talk to Windows, anything that reduces the cost and friction has to be a win. We should probably be prepared to excuse a little bitterness, though, among people who invested all the work interoperating with what I guess we’ll soon be calling “WCF Classic”.


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From: Steve Loughran (May 12 2007, at 07:33)

Yes, it's all kind of poignant. While lots of investment has been wasted on WCF, at least it hasn't been used enough to make backing away from it expensive -as long as people don't start writing WCF/WSIT code today.

WSIT isn't actually built into JAX-WS, it is part of only one implementation of JAX-WS, namely Sun's Reference Impl of JAX-WS 2.1. It's not in Java 6, which ships (and will continue to ship) with JAX-WS 2.0. It's a shame that someone decided that for feature matching with .NET that Java 6 had to have a SOAP stack built in, as it will look very embarrassing a few years from now. But it is there, and at least there's an embedded HTTP server that can be reused.



From: Gerald Beuchelt (May 16 2007, at 23:08)

The funny thing is that at least for the 3.0 version [1] of the Framework, a REST/POX message is internally represented as a SOAP message without headers [2]. I guess even for Microsoft it is really a pain to add completely new features in the 11th hour....

[1] which is actually the 2.0 version and a couple of extra bits

[2] by setting MessageVersion.None on the Message, see e.g.


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