[Pipet Devel] XML-RPC

A.J. Rossini rossini at biostat.washington.edu
Wed Jul 12 15:00:57 EDT 2000

>>>>> "BC" == Brad Chapman <chapmanb at arches.uga.edu> writes:

    BC> Hi, I should butt in on this discussion since I'm probably the
    BC> one who pushed for CORBA the most out of anyone. I should also
    BC> preface this all by saying that I like CORBA *a lot* and so
    BC> everything I say is probably baised by this :-)

Good to have that prior.

    BC> I've spent some time looking at XML-RPC and SOAP, and from all
    BC> of my impressions, it seems like they are primarily designed
    BC> to be used in web applications. This seems to be kind of
    BC> reflected in the languages for which XML-RPC implementations
    BC> are available: Java, Python, Perl, PHP, etc. By contrast,
    BC> CORBA is designed for application usage. This is why I sort of
    BC> immediately invision CORBA as being better suited for use for
    BC> Piper.

Hmm... I think I agree with your conclusions, but not your
assessment (i.e. I think considering CORBA is definitely the right
approach, but I'm not sure if the logic you used is a good argument

    BC> I don't know if speed is really an issue many people know much
    BC> about yet. There was a big argument on comp.object.corba about
    BC> SOAP versus CORBA speed issues, and it seemed like most of the
    BC> discussions was more opinions and not hard facts. XML-RPC and
    BC> SOAP are relatively new (compared to CORBA), so it is
    BC> difficult to say how well they will scale right now. But I
    BC> guess I can't really say that XML based protocols are slower
    BC> than IIOP.

I think you probably can say that they are slower, just from a
"non-compressed, plus parse-tree needed" point of view.

    BC> You are right, XML-RPC is probably simpler to start with, but
    BC> as you mention, it is hard to say how it will keep this
    BC> simplicity as an application grows. Although CORBA is big and
    BC> harder to get into at first, I think it contains tons of hooks
    BC> for just about every situtation, which might make it
    BC> ultimately simpler over time. Hard to say, I guess.

    BC> Yeah, I don't think the whole situation has been completely
    BC> hashed out on the list. CORBA and XML based communication
    BC> protocols seem to me to be "somewhat" interchangable.

They are.  We (you) could provide an XML-RPC interface, without too
much difficulty (probably would take time to think it through,
    BC> personal preference has played the largest role in choosing
    BC> CORBA for the communication protocol for Piper. I guess the
    BC> largest voice against CORBA has been because of the learning
    BC> curve to get started with it. However, I have found it really
    BC> nice for development (very flexible to API changes etc), so
    BC> once you are over the learning curve, it can be very nice.

I have to agree with this (all of the statements above).


A.J. Rossini		       Research Assistant Professor of Biostatistics 
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