Tim Bray opposing Web Services

Tim Bray who invented XML among other things, takes a stand against Web Services. Here’s what he says:

No matter how hard I try, I still think the WS-* stack is bloated, opaque, and insanely complex. I think it’s going to be hard to understand, hard to implement, hard to interoperate, and hard to secure.

I look at Google and Amazon and EBay and Salesforce and see them doing tens of millions of transactions a day involving pumping XML back and forth over HTTP, and I can’t help noticing that they don’t seem to need much WS-apparatus.

I’m deeply suspicious of “standards” built by committees in advance of industry experience, and I’m deeply suspicious of Microsoft and IBM, and I’m deeply suspicious of multiple layers of abstraction that try to get between me and the messages full of angle-bracketed text that I push around to get work done.

It should be noted that Tim has recently taken a job with Sun Microsystems. His current employer is very actively involved in Web Services, so I believe he takes this stand despite the current interest of his employer.

One thought on “Tim Bray opposing Web Services”

  1. It is easy to be an opposition, without providing alternative. He waits to see WS-* fail and then to claim he is the one foresee it. That is just a proof that He is a pessimist, and there is no other better solution to provide the same functions. Every good thing will be over-used and vulgarized by nave people who believe new tools have all-powerful magic. You can see the same thing in academics. When a newly invented theory emerges, people use it everywhere and on all kind of problems. I saw Neural Networks, Genetic Algorithms, .. are like this. Now their trends went away. But they are important.

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