A couple of weeks ago, Phil Wainewright had a great post on the role of standards. A few people picked up on it, but nobody picked up on the opening sentence (AFAICT);

Does anyone still believe that web services will be published and consumed indiscriminately on the open Internet?

I believe when people set out to build Web services five or so years ago, they were trying to enable just that, yes. But I agree that it hasn’t happened yet, nor will it likely ever with the current approach IMO.

Phil adds;

If standards bodies were supposed to innovate, they’d be called innovation bodies. Standards, by definition, can’t be innovative. This is the trouble with all the work currently being put into the WS-* stack. Talented people are wasting time and resources devising capabilities that will never, ever be used. Only those specs that reflect established, proven practices will successfully become durable standards.

Which, taken with the above, says to me that if we want to enable a world of indiscriminate consumption of remote third party services, we need to do so in a manner similar to other systems which have done just that, like the Web, email, instant messaging, etc… Namely, by using a constrained interface, and embracing (application) protocol dependence.