The Protocol [was: Syntax] is API Fallacy

Andrew Fitzhugh fitzhugh at
Thu May 6 19:06:16 BST 1999

W. E. Perry wrote:
> Jonathan Borden wrote:
> >     Furthermore I am suggesting that by enabling use of web native
> > under currently available distributed object systems we can move toward
> > better integration of distributed objects and the web.
> This is an admirable goal, and one which I believed in and pursued for
some time. However,
> 'currently available distributed object systems' were designed for closed
enterprise networks
> and have proved (are proving?) to be utterly unsuitable for the web.

Whether or not an XML-RPC based distributed computing system is technically
superior/correct/elegant/efficient to me is not so important.

To me HTML + HTTP opened the door to an explosion of *content* publishing,
where laymen were as successful as SGML experts.  Nobody ever argued that
HTML was superior to SGML; it was obviously more accessible, though.

XML-RPC + HTTP can allow a similar explosion of *functionality* publishing.
It allows distributed computing laymen to build remotely accessible
applications with orders of magnitude less effort than it takes to build
CORBA/DCOM/IIOP/etc. based distributed apps today.

HTML is really a primitive layout format, yet it became pervasive overnight.
XML-RPC based distributed apps could be seen as quite primitive compared to
mature, rigorously designed distributed object frameworks, but they are so
simple that they could become pervasive.

I see it as the gentrification of distributed object computing.

-- Andy
Andrew Fitzhugh                                      fitzhugh at
HP Internet Imaging Operation

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