I like how news of Sam and Leonard’s REST book is kicking off a new REST/SOAP thread. This time though, it seems the tables are turned and it’s the Web services proponents who are having to defend their preferred architectural style, rather than other way around. It’s about freakin’ time! I’m kinda tuckered 8-O

Sanjiva chimes in, in response to Sam’s probing questions;

ARGH. I wish people will stop saying flatly incorrect things about a SOAP message: it does NOT contain the method name. That’s just a way of interpreting SOAP messages […] SOAP is just carrying some XML and in some cases people may want to interpret the XML as a representation of a procedure call/response. However, that’s a choice of interpretation for users and two parties of a communication may interpret it differently and still interoperate.

Oh my.

Every message has a “method”; a symbol which is defined to have a certain meaning understood by sender and recipient so that the sender understands what it’s asking be done, and the recipient knows what it’s being asked to do. A recipient which doesn’t understand what is being asked of it cannot process the message for hopefully obvious reasons.

What Sanjiva’s talking about there is ambiguity as a feature of Web services; that some recipients will interpret a message to mean one thing, while others another. Note that this is very different than what the recipients actually do in response to the message; that can and should, obviously, vary. But varying interpretations of the meaning of the message? Absurd.


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  1. […] Bemerkenswert ist, dass mittlerweile auch Web Services-Frameworks wie Apache Axis2 REST unterstützen — bzw. das zumindest behaupten: die Unterschiede sind größer, als man zunächst annimmt. So kritisiert Mark Baker, einer der bekanntesten Verfechter der REST-Konzepte, die Axis2-Unterstützung; Sanjiva Weerawarana, Co-Autor des WSDL-Standards und Axis2-Vater, nimmt seine Schöpfung in Schutz. Wer nach Alternativen zu Axis2 sucht, für den bietet vielleicht Apache CXF die Lösung — und auch hier beschreibt einer der Entwickler, Dan Diephouse, wie REST-basierte Dienste unterstützt werden (übrigens sehr viel überzeugender als in Axis2). […]

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