Werner posted an article he wrote for IEEE Internet Computing titled Web Services are not Distributed Objects: Common Misconceptions about Service Oriented Architectures.

That article is very well written, and Werner makes his point loud and clear as always … but ultimately, it makes some of the same misconceptions as so many others have before it. In this case, I think I’ve boiled it down to one main misconception that I’ve talked about recently;

Web services are based on XML documents and document exchange […]

No, they are not. Just open your wallet and grab a cheque, or a credit card receipt, or your drivers license. These things are what I know a “document” to be; state. If a cop asks me for my drivers license and I hand it to her, I have performed “state transfer”, I haven’t asked her to do anything in particular by transferring this document to her. In contrast, the Web services view of a document includes a “method” which effects the semantics of the movement (aka transport) of that document. So if I had a Web services document which I handed to somebody, I’m not merely submitting that document to them, I’m asking that they perform some explicit action for me as specified by the contained method. This is a very very different thing than what “document exchange” is normally understood to mean.

I suggest that if you made the simple tweak to the big picture Web services vision to require that documents only contain state, then you’d have the Web, or at least a substantial part of it. I consider the Web to be the epitome of large scale document-centric distributed computing architectures.

I’ve recently been coming up to speed on the whole Zeroconf space. Boy, what a mess.

Earlier this summer it seems, the WG decided to go with a Microsoft lead approach to multicast name resolution, called LLMNR. This was in constrast to Apple’s similar and existing work on Rendezvous, which they published in both spec and code form.

So rather than start from a solution that works, with multiple independent open source implementations available, they’re starting from scratch with something new and unproven? Brilliant!

Oh, and there’s also the issue that the applications area seems to be sitting on their duffs over the kind of transparency that LLMNR is forcing upon them by hiding the fact that the name resolution was performed via local multicast rather than via DNS-proper. Keith Moore seems to be the only well known “apps” person raising any objections.

Update; Stuart Cheshire, main Apple guy on this stuff, just posted his review of the last call working draft of LLMNR last night. Read it for yourself.