SOAP is the Esperanto of the Web.

Philippe Lourier
Thu, 11 Oct 2001 13:53:08 -0400

This analogy seems to me a bit strained but if you must compare:
The cost of learning Esperanto must be replicated for each human that 
wants to be a member of the group  - The cost of learning SOAP or XML 
(ie. the cost of implementing a SOAP stack) is incurred a few times 
only (for ea. implementation) and this knowledge can then be 
digitally copied to other machines in the group -
Also machines are more promiscuous than humans who tend to spend most 
of their time communicating with members of their own group(s).  The 
pressures to be able to intercommunicate with a random selection of 
peers are much greater for machines than for humans.

So as a result of both the cost of acquisition of the language and 
the level of demand it seems that SOAP has a much better shot at 
widespread adoption than Esperanto

>I'm in the middle of reading "New Rules for the New Economy" by Kevin Kelly
>and came across a great quote:
>"Don't invest in Esperanto".
>A lot of what I see with respect to SOAP makes it look like Esperanto -
>really cool, but can it wipe out an embedded/locked-in technology (like
>HTTP)? Ironic that XML is touted as a 'lingua franca' and seems to be
>working well in that role - (although I think Clay Shirky pointed out it is
>more like an alphabet than a language).
>Esperanto really needs a few good movies and books that people just 'have to
>have'. SOAP needs some really good Web Services that people just 'have to
>have' - several people have pointed out that a get of stock quotes isn't
>that compelling.
>What do y'all think?