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From John Kaputin <>
Subject Proposal for Woden sub-project of Apache Web Services
Date Thu, 24 Mar 2005 14:51:29 GMT
Please find below a plain text version of the incubator proposal for the
'Woden' project. The PDF version is attached at the end of this email.


Woden Proposal

Project Proposal

March 2005.

The Woden project is proposed as a subproject of the Apache Web Services
Project to develop a Java class library for reading, manipulating, creating
and writing WSDL documents, initially to support WSDL 2.0 but with the
longer term aim of supporting past, present and future versions of WSDL.

There are two main deliverables: an API and an implementation. The Woden
API will consist of a set of Java interfaces. The WSDL 2.0-specific portion
of the Woden API will conform to the W3C WSDL 2.0 specification. The
implementation will be a high performance implementation directly usable in
other Apache projects such as Axis2.

Members of the WSDL4J team, Apache Axis, Eclipse and W3C will collaborate
on this project. The Axis2 community have already put some effort into a
WSDL 2.0 Architecture. The Eclipse Web Tools project has experience in
developing WSDL validators and one of its members is also a member of the
W3C WSDL 2.0 Working Group.

Potential applications:
- Axis2, build time emitters and runtime parsing
- Eclipse tools, WSDL editors
- vendor products
- user applications

About the name “Woden” :
- Woden is a mnemonic for Web service Description (i.e. WoDen).
- Woden is a Norse god and naming the project after a god is in keeping
with other WS-Apache project names like Apollo, Hermes and Muse.
- Woden invented a form of writing called Runes (i.e. a form of
- The symbol CEN in Runes looks like ‘<’, a left angle bracket, which may
suggest we can trace the origins of XML back to Woden!


There are current requirements for a WSDL 2.0 processor (e.g. Axis2,
Eclipse tools, the WSDL4J community). This demand is expected to increase
when the W3C issues a Recommendation for WSDL 2.0.

The W3C WSDL 2.0 specification is currently at the ‘Call for
Implementations’ stage, which expects two independent implementations
before progressing to the implementation review stage and then on to a W3C
Recommendation. A WSDL 2.0 Java implementation from Apache in response to
this call could help verify the quality of the specification and improve
its implementation experience.

Previous WSDL processors have been version specific, such as WSDL4J which
is tightly bound to WSDL 1.1.  In the longer term the Woden project could
take the experience gained developing previous WSDL processors and deliver
a WSDL processing ‘framework’ that could accommodate future WSDL
specifications without the need to completely rewrite the processor.

We anticipate that implementations of the Woden API will also be developed
by other projects for specific applications (e.g. the Eclipse Web Tools
project may develop an EMF based implementation to support WSDL 2.0
editors, as it has done with JWSDL for WSDL 1.1).  A common API will be a
good candidate for future standardization on a WSDL processing API.


In the short term, the scope of the Woden project is:
- A WSDL 2.0 API that will significantly cover the W3C WSDL 2.0
specification, including the WSDL 2.0 Component Model, Soap bindings and
message exchange patterns and XSD schema typing.
- A high performance implementation of the API with read-write capability,
but optimized for run time applications rather than build time tooling .
- Fast, efficient XML parsing (e.g. StAX-based).
- A validator component that will provide optional WSDL validation, both
schema validation and semantic validation.
- An Ant task for command line usage based on Ant XMLValidate .
- Support usability and flexibility across different usage scenarios
through the handling of behaviour such as I/O, error reporting, progress
monitoring, memory efficiency and thread safety.

Longer term, Woden’s scope will include:
- Full support for remaining parts of the W3C WSDL 2.0 specification, such
as other protocol and type extensions.
- A Woden framework based on an extendable architecture that will allow for
known or future versions of WSDL to be plugged in, rather than hard coded
in the core of the WSDL processor (e.g. plugging in WSDL 1.1 support).
- A pluggable choice of XML parsing and object representation to support
particular usage scenarios (e.g. a StAX-based, DOM-free XML model for a
runtime application versus a DOM-based model for build time tooling).

Initial Source

IBM will donate the WSDL4J source code. Although WSDL4J is the reference
implementation of JSR110 (Java APIs for WSDL), Woden will not be an
implementation of JSR110. WSDL4J is specific to WSDL 1.1 but some of the
code and the intellectual property may be reused to develop a WSDL 2.0

Resources to be created

Mailing Lists:

SVN Repository:

Issue Tracking:

Apache Sponsor

The Champion of the Woden incubator project is Davanum Srinivas

The Sponsor of Woden is the Apache Web Services PMC.

Initial Committers

Chathura Herath (, WS-Apache Axis)
Jeremy Hughes (, WSDL4J)
John Kaputin (, WSDL4J)
Lawrence Mandel (, Eclipse Web Tools (WTP) / Eclipse Web
Service Validation Tools (WSVT) )
Arthur Ryman (, Eclipse Web Tools (WTP) / W3C WSDL
2.0 Working Group)

Incubator Mentors:
Paul Fremantle (
Sanjiva Weerawarana (

Relevant links:

Eclipse Web Service Validation Tools (WSVT) -
Eclipse Web Tools (WTP) -
W3C WSDL 2.0 Working Group -


(See attached file: Woden Proposal.pdf)

John Kaputin
Web Services Development
Hursley Laboratory
IBM UK Ltd, MP211, Hursley Park, Winchester, SO21 2JN, UK.
Tel: +44 (0)1962 817363  (internal 7-247363).  Fax: +44 (0)1962 842327
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