Elliotte Rusty Harold on Web Services

By | 2003/02/01

ERH writes (grr, no permalinks);

It’s interesting that the Web Services community has managed to alienate three different communities for three different reasons that all derive from not understanding or accepting the basic principles of the technologies they’re building on. They’re either geniuses or idiots. My money’s on idiots, but time will tell.

He’s certainly right in the first part, that these groups have been alienated; “XML” because of the subsetting and arguably the suitability for the task, “Security” because of tunneling, and “Web/HTTP” because it has nothing to do with how the Web works and generated its value in the first place.

But the “idiots” comment is totally out of line. People have suggested in the past that I’ve suggested they are idiots during my evangelizing of a REST based approach to Web services, which really hurts, though it’s certainly understandable; nobody likes to be told that they don’t understand something. But that’s all that’s going on here; they don’t currently understand. It’s absolutely not a statement about anybody’s capacity, or lack thereof, to learn.

I also wouldn’t call anybody an idiot who was proceeding based on their best current understanding of how distributed systems are built, when that understanding is built from years of hard-learned experience. Unfortunately, practically every Web services proponent I know, gathered their experience in a LAN environment, which is a very different place than the Internet, requiring very different solutions. I’d just call them people who need to broaden their horizons.

So please folks, try to keep it civil. Comments such as this one only serve to alienate, which is the last thing we need.

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