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From Sanjiva Weerawarana <>
Subject Re: [VOTE] Dennis Sosnoski for Axis2 committer (Re: [Axis2] Better Java-XML mapping)
Date Sat, 20 Aug 2005 01:49:07 GMT
+1! Welcome aboard Dennis .. looking forward to your great


On Thu, 2005-08-18 at 20:23 -0400, Davanum Srinivas wrote:
> Team,
> Dennis has been a long time contributor to Axis...Let's welcome him
> with open arms to Axis2.
> Here's my +1 to Dennis for Axis2 committer.
> thanks,
> dims
> On 8/18/05, Dennis Sosnoski <> wrote:
> > I've been having some off-list email exchanges on the issues of better
> > tools for going between Java and XML. This is relevant to both
> > start-from-Java approaches to web services, and handling schema
> > versioning. Since these issues are important for Axis2 I'll get this
> > thread going here, assuming nobody objects to us using the Axis2 list
> > for this purpose. I'm copying the jibx-devs list on my own emails on
> > this topic just so that people monitoring that list are also aware of
> > the discussion.
> > 
> > While we have a number of tools for generating Java object models to
> > (more or less) match a schema, most of these tools either cannot work
> > with pre-existing Java classes or can only work with existing classes
> > using their own built-in correspondences. This limitation makes it very
> > difficult for users to take a start-from-Java approach to developing web
> > services, since the users then have little or no control over the
> > schemas used by the web service (as seen with the JAX-RPC 1.0-style
> > doc/lit mapping). It also makes it very difficult for users to work with
> > evolving schemas, since their data model will need to be regenerated
> > every time the schema changes. Because of this, users often end up
> > writing a translation layer into their applications to take the data
> > from the schema-centric model and convert it into structures actually
> > used by their main application code.
> > 
> > There are some libraries which provide more flexible conversions between
> > Java and XML, including Betwixt as well as my own JiBX framework. JAXB
> > 2.0 is also taking steps in this direction. The subject of the email
> > exchanges has been the desirability of better GUI tools for working with
> > frameworks which support such flexible conversions.
> > 
> > Betwixt seems to offer very good support for starting from basics and
> > refining the mapping as you go. It basically offers defaults for
> > everything, then lets you override the defaults. JiBX takes almost the
> > opposite approach, requiring the user to specify everything (though
> > there is a tool which will generate a default binding automatically,
> > with a variety of overrides). I can certainly see the benefits to
> > providing a tool that allows an interactive approach to building a JiBX
> > binding, basically starting with Betwixt-like defaults and allowing
> > overrides at every step of the way down to a detailed JiBX binding. The
> > way I envision it this should show sample XML output (or the current
> > schema, for those developers able to understand schemas) at every step
> > of the way - when you change the binding, you immediately get the change
> > reflected in the schema/sample XML. Ideally you should even be able to
> > go the other way - modify the schema, and have the binding automatically
> > reflect the change (or replace the schema with a new version, and have
> > the binding adjust as best it can and then flag the mismatches). I've
> > been adding hooks to JiBX for some time with the intent of moving it in
> > this direction.
> > 
> > Much of the off-list discussion has revolved around the possibility of
> > building a generic tool of this type, one able to work with different
> > frameworks. On thinking it over, it seems to me that at least the
> > general framework of the tool should be reusable - say the IDE
> > integration and XML/schema display and manipulation. That would leave
> > the need to write plugins for each binding framework to handle XML
> > instance and schema generation from a binding and set of classes, and to
> > handle editing the actual binding definition (in whatever form that
> > takes - an XML file for Betwixt and JiBX, annotations for JAXB, etc.).
> > 
> > What do people think of this? Anyone want to jump right in and start
> > putting this together? ;-)
> > 
> >   - Dennis
> > 

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