Kragen Sitaker (
Tue, 30 Nov 1999 15:55:31 -0500 (EST)

SOAP is an offspring of Dave Winer's XML-RPC protocol, or possibly the
other way around. Or maybe they're cousins. They started from the
same spec a couple of years ago, according to Dave.

XML-RPC is a dead-simple protocol for doing RPC over HTTP, encoding
function calls and function return values as little XML documents. It
relies on HTTP for things like reliability, privacy, authentication,
and authorization.

It is obviously not the most efficient RPC protocol, but it is easy to
implement, understand, and debug. And RPC is inefficient anyway.

The XML-RPC spec is about two pages long, about the same length as the
UDP spec.

As a result, there are XML-RPC implementations in Perl, Frontier (its
origin), Python, JavaScript, and about three or four other languages.
It's supported in Zope.

SOAP is something Microsoft has been making noises about for a few
months, so this isn't a surprise. I'm glad they've submitted it as an

Hope this helps answer the "what's SOAP?" questions.

<>       Kragen Sitaker     <>
The Internet stock bubble didn't burst on 1999-11-08.  Hurrah!