Other things I don't get (WAS: Re: A Joeish Erlang distribution (long))

Joe Armstrong <>
Wed Jan 29 12:18:43 CET 2003

On Wed, 29 Jan 2003, Per Bergqvist wrote:

> Regarding parlay they have now started to publish xml/soap interfaces.
> xml/soap for traffical interfaces is even more bizarro.               
> I asked a colleague the other day if he could explain one good thing  
> with xml and the funny thing is that he was totally confused about    
> this too.                                                             
> If I think xml as such is totally overrated, I believe that soap is   
> pure stupidity.  Since this xml hysteria has been bugging for quite   
> some time now it would be interesting to hear others opinions.        

  It has  *one* benefit -  it's a standard  for a strongly  typed data

  Amazingly (and stupidly) the  majority of applications do not verify
the XML against a DTD or schema  but only check that the stuff is "tag
balanced" -  if you're going  to do this  there is NO benefit  and you
might as well have used lisp S-expressions.

  SOAP  will however  enable vast  numbers of  new  applications (like
postscript did :-)

  It's very good for the industry - Microsoft have re-invented the RPC
- twenty years later and horrendously inefficient - but baking a SOAP
app together must  be orders of magnitude easier  than grappling with
DCOM or Corba - so we can expect a rosy future.

  If  we wait  a few  years, we'll  see lots  of  interesting problems
occur with "web services" based on SOAP.

  In five years Microsoft will have to re-invent transactions, and in
ten years time *distributed* transactions (like in Mnesia) - this will
be done  in the  SOAP framework -  and be so  horrendously complicated
that'll we'll  remember with fondness the Halycon  days of programming
with Corba  and DCOM ... Consultants  will love this and  the good 'ol
heady days  of full employment  for programmers and thousands  of man
hours overruns in SW budgets will be back.

> Am I way off here ???                                                 
> (I'm sorry if this all sounds like I have pms, but I truly believe    
> that traffical interfaces should have simple and efficient codings.)  

(pms - I didn't know - when did you have the op?)

No we need even more innefficient protocols - this will sell more H/W
(Ericsson out the crisis) and employ more programmers.

I guess in a few years streaming media will be transmitted thus:

<?xml version="27.23.456"?>
<!DOCTYPE SYSTEM movie "http://www.microsoft.com/we/rule/the/world/movie.dtd">
<movie name="lord-of-the-rings">

  If every  adopted this the  demand for H/W  would rise -  with great
ensuing benefit for the western economy.

  What else are we going to do with the gazillions of GHz and petra-bytes/sec
of bandwidth ????


PS - If you want simplicity and expressive power use my UBF format

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