[XML-SIG] SOAP, Web services, hype, and Python

Michael McLay mmclay@comcast.net
Sun, 16 Mar 2003 22:27:02 -0500

Why is there so little discussion of "web services" on xml-sig? I've read Paul 
Prescod's comments on web services verses REST. I generally agree with what 
he has written. I've also seen Dave Winer be critical of UDDI/WSDL and the 
"moras" that has been created. Unfortunately, my group seems to think this is 
the next big thing because Microsoft and IBM are pushing this technology. Am 
I being stubborn and they are correct, or is this stuff really broken and 
difficult to work with?

I am working on a project that is attempting to use SOAP to send RosettaNet 
messages between web portals. The group is using Java as the primary 
implementation of the portal and I'm venturing off to use Python, as a test 
of technology independance. I have found the exercise to be frustrating. I 
have identified and worked with four partially completed implementations of 
SOAP in Python. The test process has been useful, because I have identified 
some minor flaws with the Java implementation, but I am somewhat concerned 
that the Python community seems so uninterested in SOAP and the associated 
web services tools, such as WSDL and UDDI. Are web services considered a dead 
end in the Python community? If so, then what should I be investigating as an 
alternative? Or, is the Python community just ignoring the industry's attempt 
to standardized on XML based exchange and interface definitions? Or, was  it 
simply the economic downturn that caused everyone to abandon SOAP in Python?

The WebServices implementation at Zope.org looks fairly complete, but I found 
problems when trying to use it to read and use WSDL definitions from various 
websites listed in xmethods.net.

Opinions, comments, suggestions?