I remember the conversation going something like this a couple of years ago(paraphrasing for dramatization purposes :-)…
– (My manager at the time:) Savas, we’d like to ask you to drive the latest technical efforts on WS-Transfer.
– Eh? You do know that from all the specifications in the WS-* ecosystem WS-Transfer is perhaps the one with which I seriously object, right? (the other being WS-RF of course :-)
– No, I didn’t. All the more reason for you to be involved then.
I ended up as one of the co-authors of the WS-Transfer submission to W3C.
Then, along came WS-ResourceTransfer and the recent proposal to standardize it. To be honest, I’d love it if this takes off, only to see Mark Baker at it again (or wake up from hibernation, as Mark Nottingham says :-)
The ideas behind Web Services were really promising but those involved (including me) seriously messed up on the way. We totally missed the Web and forgot that “simplicity” is a quality rather than a curse. And let’s not mention the tooling and middleware! :-(
I still believe in message-orientation as the good way to build distributed systems. All of the behaviors that we see on the Web today could have been implemented (and perhaps better) over basic SOAP. Only if we had just focused on behaviors like caching. But then again… why try to replicate the functionality of something that is already there, even if it’s not perfect?
The Web is not the solution for everything and neither are Web Services. Different nails need different hammers :-)