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Subject: RE: IETF draft on appropriate uses of HTTP

Title: RE: IETF draft on appropriate uses of HTTP

Comments in line:

Vendors and developers worldwide, especially reputable vendors like
IBM, Sun are not going to get down and wrestle in the mud by criticising
Microsoft or SOAP.  Following is my opinion.
<KB>How much do you know about SOAP?  IBM is on the list not only of supporters, but of the authors as well.</KB>

The problem with SOAP is that it was designed and developed at Microsoft,
over an extended period in which the implications of every aspect of SOAP
were carefully considered by Microsoft in its ongoing development of
XML platforms such as MSIE5 and BizTalk server.  This fairly well ensures
the following:

 1.  whatever capabilities exist in Microsoft platforms, SOAP will support
     them marvelously.
<KB> Not true.  For example many of the capabilities of DCOM are not supported at all for the express purpose of interoperability and simplicity.  Much of the encoding rules were gleaned from Java RMI and CORBA technology more than COM.</KB>

 2.  whatever features that could have exist within SOAP, which might have
     similarly maximized the efficiency or fit for other vendors platforms,
     are not necessarily present, and I am being polite, here.
<KB> Not true.  In fact as of now there is no public implementation of SOAP in COM.  The best support to date has been for Java and Perl implementations by DevelopMentor.  The authors have bent over backwards to avoid even the appearance of any affinity to COM or any other MS-specific technology.  Can you provide a specific example?</KB>

 3.  whatever features exist in SOAP, Microsoft's numerous, wellpaid
     are already up to speed, have a 1 year head start, and developing
     applications with them.
<KB> Actually IBM has forced Microsoft's hand by their rapid release of a Java reference implementation of SOAP.  I've heard

it said by one of the authors that there are more SOAP developers at IBM than at MS</KB>

Microsoft already has overwhelming economic power in the marketplace.
Why would any vendor want to get involved with SOAP?  and go directly into
competition with Microsoft?
<KB>Is ebXML about opposing MS or finding a technical solution to interoperability?</KB>

Other technologies and other vendors and participants are fully capable
of providing solutions without SOAP.  Similarly, if ebXML adopts SOAP, the
result would be a relative weakening of other participants intellectual
<KB>Again, is ebXML about who gets credit or finding the best solution?  Isn't one of the core philosophies to leverage existing technology where possible?</KB>

You can't have it both ways.  If you rollout solutions
that run on Microsoft platforms better, sooner, faster, then ebXML will
not be a level playing field for other vendors and they will not invest
money and mindshare into it.
<KB>From the long list of folks supporting SOAP it looks like a pretty level field to me.  Do you think companies like IBM and Iona are looking at it to help MS?</KB>

No SOAP.  Make it plain XML.
<KB>By the same logic should you say "No ebXML.  Make it plain XML"?  SOAP is about as pure XML as you can get. The only thing that is not "pure XML" is the optional encoding rules.</KB>

Todd Boyle Kirkland WA   www.gldialtone.com

<KB>SOAP in no way addresses all of the goals of ebXML.  It is not the complete solution.  But there is no reason it can't be considered for the part of the problem it does solve.</KB>

Kent Brown
Architectural Consultant
Alpha Technologies
732-980-1800 x207

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