Bosworth; The Next Inflection Point

By | 2003/02/02

Edwin Khodabakchian reports on an Adam Bosworth presention entitled The Next Inflection Point.

Adam’s an extremely bright guy, and I’m fully expecting him to have a “REST epiphany” ahead of most others due to both the depth and bredth of his experiences. But while this is an extremely interesting presentation, there are some claims that just don’t synch up with the current approach taken with Web services. In particular, there’s this quote which Edwin pointed out;

We will look back in wonder and ask how we ever survived in the current anarchy where information did not flow as seamlessly and as metered and managed a manner between programs as electricity flows between devices today.

Whether or not you agree that Web services are the next big thing, I would expect that most people would see the problems in this statement; data flow with Web services is anything but seamless.

“Seamless data flow” derives from a data flow architectural style in which components expose a common (no, not necessarily uniform 8-) interface. The example I’ve used before is pipe-and-filter, ala Unix, with stdout/stdin. Non-common (i.e. component-specific) interfaces are notoriously difficult to compose, and therefore anything but seamless, because new glue code has to be written for each set of components that need to be composed (the old integration-complexity argument, O(N^2) or O(NlogN) for Web services vs. O(N) for the Web).

So I’m all for seamless data flow, but Web services simply don’t have it.

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