WS-Addressing vs. Web?

I may probably be accused of missing several points here, but I have a different take on the WS-Addressing discussion, which I became aware of through Stefan Tilkov: WS-A and the Web.

Elliotte compares Endpoint References (EPRs) to URIs and argues that EPRs do nothing but add complexity. The rest of the debate (Stefan, Steve Vinoski, Ted Neward) focuses for some reason on how nobody (or plenty of people) uses other protocols than HTTP. I don't know why it turned this way.

WS-Addressing defines message information headers, which nobody in this particular debate seems to object to (and they look pretty valuable to me), and the endpoint references, the source of contention.

EPRs use URIs as the base of the references. But EPRs are not just addresses, they're reference that do more than just address Web services (or resources). They can carry metadata (but that's trivial without EPRs as well) and they can carry so called parameters. These parameters make EPRs interesting - basically an EPR with parameters is like URI with cookies.

I believe most Web Architecture people will agree nowadays that there is value to cookies (if they aren't overused/abused), and one grudge with cookies is that they aren't bookmarkable, that I can't give a link to a buddy if part of what I want to give them is managed with cookies.

Now one could argue that when this is a useful scenario, cookies are overused. Except that that wouldn't be totally true: let's have an example website where cookies serve to keep track of a user for personalization (I hope this is not a contentious application of cookies). I can't easily give somebody a link to see the page as I see it (personalized for me), yet sometimes I might want to do that.

EPRs allow me to package the cookies and the URI and send it to a buddy Web service so that it can access what I access. Maybe the whole contention is that people already know that EPR parameters will be overused/abused and don't want to give them a chance? Not everything belongs in the URI, after all.

Posted at 1226 on Tue, Aug 30, 2005 in category Work | TrackBack