· Naughties
· · 2005
· · · May
· · · · 03 (2 entries)

Replacing WSDL, Twice · Let’s make three assumptions: First, that Web Services are important. Second, that to make Web Services useful, you need some sort of declaration mechanism. Third, that WSDL and WSDL 2, despite being the work of really smart people, are so complex and abstract that they have unacceptably poor ease-of-use. What then? Naturally, the mind turns to a smaller, simpler successor, sacrificing generality and eschewing abstraction; in exactly the same way that XML was a successor for SGML. Well anyhow, that’s the direction my mind turned. So did Norm Walsh’s; his proposal for NSDL also includes a helpful explanation of why Web-Service description is important. My sketch is called SMEX-D. Interestingly, NSDL and SMEX-D, although both wave the banner of The Simplest Thing That Could Possibly Work, are wildly different; NSDL is the simplest way you could possibly declare an RPC-style function call with positional parameters. SMEX-D is the simplest possible way you could declare an exchange of XML messages. Which is more important? Are both necessary? I suspect that these days, the Simplest Thing That Could Possibly Work would include a declaration that a particular message-exchange/function-call should be reliable, using HTTPLR or equivalent. Are there any other proposals or skunkworks floating around out there? Let me know and I’ll aggregate pointers. [Updated with more proposals, startling commentary from Megginson and Obasanjo, and an appeal to Sowa’s law]. ...
SMEX-D · SMEX stands for Simple Message Exchange, and SMEX-D for SMEX Descriptor, an XML language designed to provide simple descriptions of a wide range of Web-Service message exchanges, both REST-based and SOAP-based ...
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