SOAP is the Esperanto of the Web.

Clay Shirky clay@shirky.com
Thu, 11 Oct 2001 08:13:38 -0400 (EDT)


> 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)?

Well, no, but the next question is "Can SOAP find a place as somethign
layered on top of http?", to which I think the answer is "Maybe."

Some pretty unusual stars are aligned in SOAP's favor, particularly
the adoption by MSFT, SUn and IBM, and if it really sticks to the
business of "Parseable envelope for arbitrary contents", it could be A
Good Thing.
 
> 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.

Any Web Service people (by which I assume you mean the general public)
have to have would be better built as a regular Web site. This is one
of the many reasons why WS is not the Next Big Thing, namely that it
isn't a consumer technology.

What will make WS and SOAP take off is when General Electric says "To
do business with us, all contracts need to be sent electronically as
SOAP docs."

-c