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From Guy Rixon <>
Subject Re: Attachments, curse thy name
Date Wed, 26 Oct 2005 16:12:24 GMT
> <rant>It's shocking how complex WSDL is for something so notionally simple.
> For example I looked at the WSDL at Anne's blog for an operation that takes
> two integers and returns the sum of those integers.  Now, notionally I could
> write this in at most 4 (very short) lines of text and I don't think there
> could possibly be any ambiguity about what was meant.  Yet the sample at
> Anne's blog is well over 100 (long) lines of obtuse WSDL.  Was common sense
> absent on the day that WSDL was born or did it really have to be this
> complex?  It's a major barrier to comprehension and therefore to use.</rant>

Amen, Brother!

I think the big problem with WSDL is that it appeared before W3C XML schema
and before literal (non)-encoding became standard. If all services with WSDL
were SOAP services and if all SOAP services used document/literal messages
defined by external schemata, then WSDL could be really simple.

However, it's sometimes useful to define alternate bindings. My project is
looking at publishing a standard port-type with two bindings, one
document/literal SOAP and one for HTTP-GET. If WSDL is to express this, then
the messages are abstract and can't be expressed concretely by XML schema
(i.e. some messages are not XML at all). Hence all the sub-structure.

Guy Rixon 		
Institute of Astronomy   	                Tel: +44-1223-337542
Madingley Road, Cambridge, UK, CB3 0HA		Fax: +44-1223-337523

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