I should be taking down the Christmas tree, so of course I'm reading web logs and fixing BottomFeeder bugs. I have been meaning tto look through Gordon's blogroll - I usually find what he posts to be interesting, so I figured stuff he's reading would be interesting as well.
I am not disappointed. I stumbled on the Loosely Coupled right off, and found this post:
A different picture emerges if we look back at what really happens when significant new interoperability standards emerge. HTTP over the Internet brought the commercial Web into being. The addition of RSS to that mix turned weblogs into a powerful channel for amplifying discourse. 802.11b has created an unanticipated blossoming of WiFi hotspots and ad hoc networking. None of these results were predicted (or even expected) by the creators of those standards.
Reviewing the practical deployments of web services in 2002, there's been little in the way of heavyweight enterprise deployments, mainly because enterprises still regard the available standards as immature. But there have been plenty of casual or serendipitous discoveries and experiments. One of the best examples was Jon Udell's experiment in joining up URLs from multiple sources based on ISBN numbers. He's just published a new account, The disruptive Web, in which he sums up the ingredients which he believes contributed to its success:
"Support HTTP GET-style URLs. Design them carefully, matching de facto standards where they exist. Keep the URLs short, so people can easily understand, modify, and trade them. Establish a blog reputation. Use the blog network to promote the service and enable users of the service to self-organize. It all adds up to a recipe for recombinant growth."
That's an interesting set of observations. If you make your main services available as straight HTTP-GETs, anyone
can make use of them right now
. That doesn't preclude offering other interfaces (SOAP), or using other mechanisms for your own internal operations - but what it does is make your services available to the widest possible audience
. The other neat part of this - especially for Smalltalkers - is that it makes the implentation language irrelevant to the end user
of your services. What then matters is how quickly and accurately
you can get things done. Have a look at the Linea Engineering date
and be encouraged - there is a coming software world that is ripe
for those with higher productivity.