The Russian Doll Approach to Web Services
March 6th, 2006

Here’s an anecdote for the WTF inbox. I assure you this is very real, but I cannot divulge any of the specifics.

Some time ago a friend of mine was talking to a web services vendor, who was explaining his versioning scheme. The vendor’s approach was to make all of the web service functions accept a single parameter describing the function being called, and the version of the function requested. Prototypically:

public object Foo(FunctionCallInfo)

And what is FunctionCallInfo, you ask? Why, it is a strict XML document adhering to a schema that he would provide.

My observation, which my friend also arrived at independently, was that this person was basically creating an implementation of web services inside of web services. So nat’ralists observe, a flea / Hath smaller fleas that on him prey.

XML: the cause of, and solution to, all of your development problems.