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  • > like pointlessly wrapping SMTP in XML-RPC.

    This largely describes "web services" in general.

    Well, I've seen three kinds: (1) toy examples, (2) wrapping of propietary protocols into XML (they will still be closed and proprietary, mind, as long as the vocabularies and protocols are not public), and then these (3) pointless rewrappings of existing protocols/frameworks.

    In (2) and (3) the only measurable effect has been manifold increase in bandwidth, and the need to have an XML parser everywhere. Not to
    • by ziggy (25) on 2003.05.27 11:05 (#20540) Journal
      If I've hurt someones feelings who think web services are the greatest thing since sliced bread, I'm sorry. I just don't see much net benefit.
      No, that pretty much nails it. Web Services are a vast conspiracy of deep-pocketed vendors and tagheads to make themselves relevant.

      There are a few benefits to Web Services, like the reinvention of IDL and "baked in platform neutrality", but there were better ways to get those benefits than XML-RPC, SOAP, WSDL, and RWSA(*) provide. For example, wrapping a proprietary protocol in XML makes it easier to deal with an existing system in 12 different programming languages without multiplying the number of buggy implementations of the existing protocol. Whether or not support for 12 or even 2 new languages is necessary or desirable is an exercise left for the reader.

      The other major benefit to Web Services is that it's a visible, neutral RPC protocol. They're not especially good RPC protocols, but at least you can stop worrying about the bits on the wire when developing services (at least until you see how many bits are going on the wire).

      *: Random Web Services Acronym