Tim Bray on Mark Hapner on WS-*

By | 2004/06/03

Tim writes;

In recent decades, he points out, good new technologies have first appeared in rough-and-ready form on the Internet, then migrated into the enterprise. […] But all the WS-* hullabaloo is trying to go the other way; […]

Yep, I’ve been pointing this out for years.

But why is this so? Mark’s observation are empirically correct, but how do you explain it? I believe the study of software architecture provides a hypothesis; Intranet based architectures are insufficiently constrained to provide the necessary architectural properties to manage an abundancy of trust boundaries. An intranet is a special case of the Internet in this way, and therefore architectural styles developed for the latter are not, in general, suitable for the former. But because the Internet is the general case, architectural styles developed for it are transferrable to the intranet.

I’ve been recently thinking about this in terms of “Fitness Landscapes”, which I learned about from one of Stuart Kaufmann‘s books a few years ago. But Christoper Alexander‘s work on architecture and pattern languages is also relevant. In fact, I bet that in most fields there’s some guru who’s made this same fundamental observation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *