One has to laugh

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Thursday, August 23. 2007 in Programming

I saw this link on Sanjiva's blog which was titled Building distributed systems is hard, in which I agree 100%. But when I read the following statement from Stefan, who is summarizing a blog post from Dan Diephouse, I couldn't help but laugh: building your own protocol using Web services is a lot easier than understanding and using HTTP correctly. Huh? Are there simpler protocols than HTTP? For sure. But is it really easier to "build" your own, which hopefully has at least a small fraction of the capability of HTTP, than to take some time and understand, well, the protocol being used by the web after all? And doesn't HTTP have almost universal acceptance? Don't people build and use HTTP clients every day? Web services are supposed to be used after all, aren't they? And do we really need yet another protocol simply because one can't be bothered to "understand and use HTTP correctly"? Good thing that Stefan understands all this, since he finishes up with which IMO means that investing the time and effort to learn and apply RESTful HTTP is an investment that pays off very quickly. So it looks like he sees the light. Yeah, you might be able to create a simpler protocol, but you've given away way too much when you do that. People claim a common issue with WS is that it "ignores" the web; but it hardly does any good dismissing it, as if HTTP is a set of shackles, rubbing you raw. Why even bother calling it Web Services anymore. Just call it Network Services and be done with it. And if it's hard to do something architecturally logical (like create a web service using the web) in Java, then maybe it's either time to look at another language, or look at dropping all that nasty "overhead" that makes it hard.

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