we appreciate dave

We Appreciate Dave – Yesterday Dave complained that Microsoft does not appreciate him. In fact, I think anyone involved would agree that he has done more to widen the interop of SOAP 1.1 than perhaps anyone else. The discussion on soapbuilders list have been an incredible education in what it will take to do interop — an education for Microsoft and an education for developers of SOAP implementations for years to come. This is the kind of hard work that is necessary for interop, and I do not think we can be anything but grateful for the drive and accomplishment shown by all of the people taking initiative and independently working on this.

The only point of confusion, I think, is the idea of a “subset” of a W3C standard. A few years ago, when it became clear that XSD spec would drag on for a couple of years and be very complex, Microsoft (and Andrew Layman) decided to make a simple subset called XDR, that we could use for interoperability while waiting for XSD to be finished, and that would also be completely compatible with XSD when it finally was finished. Still to this day I have customers who tell me that a Microsoft competitor told them that “Microsoft doesn’t support XSD, they made up their own incompatible schema language.” And the standards bigots flamed away about XDR.

So the issue of subsets is a bit touchy, I suppose. It would be highly unlikely for Microsoft to take the risk of endorsing a subset of any spec again, especially a spec that is already finished and accepted by nearly everyone. The fact that Andrew wrote XDR in the first place should show that he’s a fan of simplicity and interop sooner rather than later. The fact that we got our butts kicked for it should explain why we don’t intend to “go there” again.

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