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Java father Gosling on Web services

[WEEK OF JUNE 3, 2002]- While Sun Microsystems works as hard as any vendor to enable next-generation Web services middleware architectures, company scientist James Gosling, a Sun vice president and fellow as well as the father of the Java language, cautions that Web services are not really all that novel.

"The current spin on Web services isn't anything new; services have been part of distributed computing world for 20 to 30 years," Gosling said in an interview with "Application Development Trends," which is covering the XML Web Services One conference in San Jose, Calif.

Moreover, Gosling points to what he sees as architectural flaws in the Web services model that is currently carried forward by proponents of the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP).

"They say SOAP is lightweight, but they have left out a lot of things," he said. "It doesn't address issues such as how you cope with errors. It's left up to the reader [to fill in the blanks]."

The real issues in Web services may be up to business unit leaders to decide, indicated Gosling. Companies could make their inner APIs available to the public today, he continued, but such decisions will only be made after much deliberation.

About the Author

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.

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