May 26, 2007
@ 01:00 AM

Mike Champion has a blog post entitled WS-* and the Hype Cycle where he writes

There's a persistent theme talked up by WS-*ophobes that it's all just a fad, rapidly sliding down toward the "Trough of Dilillusionment" in the Gartner Hype Cycle. I've come to the opposite conclusion after six weeks back in the web services world.  The WS technologies are taking hold, deep down in the infrastructure, doing the mundane but mission critical work for which they were designed. Let's consider one example, WS-Management, which I had barely heard of when I started in CSD Interoperability.
At first glance this appears to duplicate widely deployed bits of the web.  For example, it depends on the oft-criticized WS-Transfer spec, and some are advocating using Atom and the Atom Publishing Protocol rather than WS-* for describing collections and subscribing to notifications of their contents.  On closer examination, WS-Management is widely used today in situations where the web-scale alternatives really don't fit, such as deep within operating systems or in the firmware of chips.
In short, from what I have learned recently, the trajectory of WS-* isn't pointing toward oblivion, it looks headed toward the same sort of pragmatic ubiquity that XML has achieved.  That's not to say all is rosy; there is lots of confusion and dissension, again just like there was in the early days of the Web and XML.   Likewise, "ubiquity" doesn't mean that the WS technologies are the best or the only option across the board,  but that it they are increasingly available as a very viable option when developers need protocol-neutrality, security, identity, management capability, etc.

I was going to post a response when I first read his post on Monday but I decided to wait a few days because I couldn't think of anything nice to say about this post and Mike Champion is someone I consider a friend. After a few days of calm reflection, the only thing I can say about this post is...So what?

It seems Mike is trying to argue that contrary to popular belief WS-* technologies are still useful for something. Seriously, who cares? The general craptacular nature of WS-* technologies was a major concern when people were marketing them as a way to build services on the Web. Now it is quite obvious to anyone with a clue about Web development that this is not the case. None of the major Web companies or "Web 2.0" sites is taking a big bet on WS-* Web services for providing APIs on the Web, on the other hand they all are providing RESTful XML or JSON Web services.

Now if WS-* technologies wants to own the niche of one proprietary platform technology talking to another in a homogeneous, closed environment...who cares? Good riddance I say. Just keep that shit off the Web.