mnot’s blog

Design depends largely on constraints.” — Charles Eames

Tuesday, 24 May 2005

Web Web Services XML

Web Description at the W3C

The W3C has just started a mailing list for discussion of Web description formats;

This mailing list is dedicated to discussion of Web description languages based on URI/IRI and HTTP, and aligned with the Web and REST Architecture. Unlike WSDL (Web Services Description Language), such languages are not targeted towards description of Web Services.

What’s interesting is that many Web Services people — such as David Orchard, Marc Hadley and myself (although I always think of myself as an HTTP person first ;) — are participating in this discussion recently, bringing their experiences with Web Services description to the Web. Hopefully, we’ll see REST and HTTP folks like Rohit Khare, Roy Fielding, Yves Lafon and Mark Baker PUT their two cents in too.

A relevant question that’s bound to come up is whether WS people are seeing the light about the Web, or whether this is the storming of the castle by the visigoths. I tend to think the former, although there are risks; if the description format ends up limiting the Web itself, it would be bad. I don’t think it’s a big risk, because frankly the Web is already severely limited by tools and common practice.

One request: let’s not turn this into rest-discuss. It’s great to talk about theory till the cows come home, but this list should be practical and deliverable-focused. IMO.


Mark Baker said:

Should be fun!

P.S. low blow on the rest-discuss comment! 8-) I personally find it a nice blend of theory and practice.

Thursday, May 26 2005 at 2:23 AM

Paul Downey said:

I personally applaud this effort, but worry how it is being viewed by those with a significant investment in publishing Web services described by WSDL. Guess I should formulate my concerns and push them onto the list, or through some other channels.

I didn’t read mnot’s comment about REST as a low blow, quite the reverse. One of the biggest hurdles I’ve faced in selling REST to developers is the lack of a formal description language. Some attention to a practical solution rather than endless pontification on ‘architecture’ seems like a good way forward at this point in time.

Friday, May 27 2005 at 1:53 AM