S Stands for Simple
With a very funny blog post, written in the form of a dialogue between a Web services expert and a hypothetical developer, Pete Lacey has started an amazing chain of postings. Here is quick excerpt, but be sure to read the whole post ("SG" stands for "SOAP guy"):
SG: Forget what I said. From here on in we pass around coarse-grained messages—you like that term, coarse-grained?. Messages that conform to an XML Schema. We call the new style Document/Literal and the old style RPC/Encoded.
Dev: XML Schema?
SG: Oh, it’s all the rage. Next big thing. Take a look.
Dev: (Reads XML Schema spec). Saints preserve us! Alexander the Great couldn’t unravel that.
Among the many industry luminaries linking to Pete's post are Nelson Minar, who designed the SOAP-based Google APIs for both Google's search AdWords and says he'd never choose SOAP and WSDL again, IBM's Sam Ruby, who shows that REST as an alternative to SOAP is not without (fixable) problems, Sun's Tim Bray, and Ruby on Rails creator David Heinemeier Hansson.
Bill de hÓra's comment is a nice RESTafarian summary:
Which is worse, that everyone gets it now and we'll have REST startups in Q207, or that it took half a decade?
Which is worse?...
Unfortunately, even that may be a false choice. My experience is that not everyone gets it now... so it's actually worse than either of those alternatives, sadly.
I'm not suggesting that SOAP is the wrong choice for all cases (sometimes you don't control the choice of protocol between you and your collaborators), but it's just that when it clearly *is* the wrong choice, it's still too often the first tool to come out of the toolbox, as if it were the only one available.