Friday, June 02, 2006

Web Services Description Language (WSDL) Version 2.0

On Thursday Tony Rogers presented "The second coming of WSDL - what's new in WSDL 2.0", at ANU in Canberra. This was entertaining and informative. Web Services Description Language (WSDL) is what you use to describe web based interfaces. This is part of the very important, but very complex suite of W3C standards for e-commerce.

Tony perhaps spent too long explaining why WSDL 2 has taken so long to get to the stage it is at and not enough on what it will do. But the politics of standards making may come as a surprise to those who have not been involved in it. All going well WSDL 2 will be approved by the end of this year with usable implementations by the end of next year.

But not everyone agrees:
"To put it simply, these specifications are astoundingly bad. The comment period ended October 4, although looking at the comment list archive shows that comments were still being received, and processed, as recently as last week. According to W3C procedure, at this point the Director can send the documents back to the group, or he can allow them to move forward and ask for implementation information as the next step in becoming an official W3C Recommendation."
From WSDL 2: Just Say No by Rich Salz, November 17, 2004, OÂ’Reilly Media, Inc

Tony claimed that WSDL 2 is simpler than the previous version, which is a big claim to make. He suggests starting with the primer. But when I previously tried using the XML Schema Primer to explain it to ANU students, I got everyone confused, including myself.

There was some confusion when Tony mentioned the Apache "Woden project" for a WSDL 2.0, as "Woden" is also a region of Canberra.

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