Back from the XML Summer School where for the third year running I muddled my way through my overview of SOA (v) REST. It's an old novelty record, which really I've lost the energy to perform well. Although the story of any sufficiently hyped technology always ends in parody, I made the point that Web services are beyond kicking the pail, and my talking about it has become akin to cracking jokes about an ex-girlfriend. Only she's in a persistent vegetive state. At worst it offends friends keeping her memory alive. At best it just makes me feel like that guy.

However, if there is a serious point to be made, it is this: influential custodians of The Enterprise are still at risk of placing faith in some random WS-* technology they perceive to be useful just because there's an official looking specification or some vendor has claimed to support it. A reflex reaction of "run away" or to question how many active Open Source projects use it is rarely convincing enough for an Enterprisey Architect. They may also serve, those who stand and powerpoint, but the importance of running code trumping roadmaps may be lost on those whose stock in trade is boxes and lines. So as an exercise intended to provoke thoughtful conversation amongst consenting technologists, I offer a parlor game WS-Bluff. Feel free to try it out for yourselves; it's important to laugh though the machine is still beeping.