March 17, 2003
@ 11:58 PM
WSDL 101

If I do go to TechEd it is likely my talk will be about W3C XML Schema and WSDL. I'll know for sure on Wednesday if I'm going or not so will wait until then to start planning what the presentation will be about.

However until then I'd like to brush up on my knowledge of WSDL. I've glanced at Sam Ruby's A Busy Developers Guide to WSDL 1.1 which is OK from the "Hello World" perspective but doesn't dig deep enough for my tastes. Some people have suggested Yasser Shohoud's book, Real World XML Web Services but the fact that it is written for VB/VB.NET developers is daunting. I can't read VB.NET code and every time I have to answer a question where the person posts a code snippet in VB.NET the first thing I do is grab my trusty VB.NET to C# converter. It's looking highly likely that I'll just end up plowing through the WSDL spec and installing Apache Axis or SOAP::Lite.

I should probably reread Clemens Vasters' Why I want WSDL to die rant once I get up to speed on WSDL to see if what he is saying makes sense.


Querying XML in Databases

In Jon Udell's recent piece he states that it's clear that XPath is the foundation for querying XML documents stored in databases which I wouldn't consider an entirely accurate statement. My main quibble is with the word "foundation". Currently XPath is the only standardized mechanism for querying XML documents which is why it is used by many XML database products as the XML query language of choice.

However XPath has a number of significant deficiencies, many of which I mention in my article Things to Know and Avoid When Querying XML Documents with XPath . I'd expect a language that was the foundation of performing database operations to support sorting, obtaining distinct items, operations on dates, joins and strong typing. XPath has none of these. Similarly I'd expect a language that was the foundation for querying XML documents to support node identity and set operations on sequences of nodes.

XPath is an excellent language for addressing parts of an XML document and is a good enoug solution for simple XML query purposes. However it is far from being a foundation upon which XML query should be built upon.


Test Drive

I went test driving this past weekend and tried a Q35, an A4 Quattro and a 325i. I'd say the 325i had the best ride followed by the Q35 then the Audi. The BMW sales guy mentioned their full maintenance program which covers items that need replacement due to normal wear and tear including items such as brake pads, brake rotors, and wiper blades. Their financing options are jacked up though.

I actually preferred the interior and exterior of the Q35 (especially black with chrome rims) to the 325i.

I'll probably do more test driving in a few weeks. I'm in no rush to get a car and still don't know whether I actually want to make a purchase or not. Time will tell.


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Disclaimer: The above comments do not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my employer. They are solely my opinion.


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