And so to darkest Suffolk for an internal "Standards Day" talking to people who work on specs for important things such as saving the company millions ensuring we don't have to rip cables out of the road because some new spec references "XXX-601" instead of "XXX-602" or are tackling world problems such as reducing the overall power consumption of the Internet. Wow. So I couldn't help but come across as more than a little 'fluffy' yammering on about this thing called The Web and citing examples of how chatter on the Web through channels such as Twitter is spawning a series of pidgin languages which arise like chants in a football crowd and lead towards the writing of useful specs such as OAuth. Standards are agreements, but advocating lightweight agreements which arise through continuous, virtuous feedback, amongst the great unwashed were never going to wash with those who have to then convince Government we follow their ICT policy.
To compound matters my usual, careful disassembly of Web services was preceded by a great presentation on how telco vendors and suppliers are all coalescing, yay!, but on WS-*, boo! What's more, apparently in small way that is my fault as "Chief Web Services Architect". Yikes!
So after the show, the SOA advocates shuffled off to meet with Michael and I for a spot of coffee and confrontation. However what transpired, I think in many ways surprised us all. During a relaxed and wide ranging conversation exploring resource oriented versus message based architectures, I suddenly realised, there was no argument anymore. Getting all those silly vendors to agree on "something, anything" was the battle, but going forward, it's obvious the Web has won. All we have to do now is to help those pour souls still trapped in Middleware hell to walk into the light and pass the bovril and blankets. If you know someone still slipping around on the SOAP, don't hate them, just warn them the longer they continue the sillier they look. They deserve your sympathy, not hate. Just give them lots of hugs!
I've one more presentation to give on "Web Services, WTF were you thinking?" which will do doubt contain the slightly iffy slide Make BPEL History!, but which I may run as a "Downey's Farewell WS-Rant Requests Show", and then that's it, I'm going to stop railing about Web services as they're no longer interesting or relevant anymore. Anyway, I now need a new job title!
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