A nice post from Don last weekend, addressing the “roach motel” (aka “application silo”) problem, and what Longhorn’s doing to help developers who want to avoid it. Some comments;

Though I think their characterization of RPC is a bit naïve (NFS is a great counterexample of a broadly adopted RPC protocol), the argument in favor of common operations is a strong one that I’m extremely sympathetic to (watch this space).

NFS is built on an RPC infrastructure, but it’s not what you’d call RPC because its users don’t define the interface, the protocol does. Consider that just because it’s built with RPC, you don’t see it integrated with other RPC based services. I think there’s an important lesson there.

What the REST argument conveniently sidesteps is that had it not been for HTML (a common schema), HTTP (a common set or operations/access mechanisms) would have never registered on most people’s radar.

I don’t know about others, but I’ve never side-stepped that issue. I’m quite up front when I claim that REST alone doesn’t address the “schema explosion” problem, and that HTML is only a “unifying schema” for humans. I commonly follow that up with an explanation of why I like Semantic Web technologies, as they extend the Web to address the explosion problem for automata.

Anyhow, I’m very encouraged by the positive feedback, and will be keenly “watching that space”! Thanks, Don.


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