The Protocol [was: Syntax] is API Fallacy

Jonathan Borden jborden at
Fri May 7 04:34:19 BST 1999


> > What I had suggested was to use
> > XML to marshal objects by value (MBV) which specifically gets around the
> > network roundtrip killer.
> >
> Actually, the idea of using XML as the means of achieving MBV doesn't seem
> too good to me.
> Why?  First, one of the great attractions of a distributed object
> system is
> precisely that I'm not typically zapping objects about the network, but am
> rather dealing with the more interesting objects in different
> address spaces
> by (remote) reference.  So, as an an application developer using corba, I
> really don't care too much how my corba implementation (as
> provided by Iona
> or whomever) does its business (e.g., marshalling).  I just care that it
> does it correctly and, hopefully efficiently.

	To David Brownell: I see your argument very clearly now. Sometimes, in
order to get things working efficiently you need to get concerned with
protocols. Fine grained object access across process boundaries is slow.
There is no getting around this. Sometimes it is alot more efficient to zap
a document across a network in one fell swoop and the zap back changes
rather than updating it character by character.
	Like any development system there are good and bad uses. Techniques such as
MBV help distributed object systems designers avoid the pitfalls of find
grained object access across process boundaries.

> Finally, I'm not convinced that a corba/RPC-style of remote method
> invocation is typically well suited to web-oriented interactions -- most
> things on the web can be treated naturally and efficiently as
> streams.  Why
> add the extra weight (which seems to buy me little) of corba to a
> domain in
> which it seems a mis-fit?
	Agreed, who needs it! Precisely what I am suggesting is that sending large
grained packets of information (e.g. documents) across the web is the proper
way to develop distributed object systems. I do believe there is a role for
object analysis and design and that object methodologies including interface
development can and should be applied to web development.

Jonathan Borden

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