[FRPythoneers] Preferred SOAP libraries?

gweakliem at oddpost.com gweakliem at oddpost.com
Sat Apr 7 11:30:26 MDT 2007

Well, if you look at the ancestry, XML-RPC is what's favored by the dynamic language crowd.  It definitely has its problems, and SOAP 1.0 RPC/encoded is about all that's supported in most SOAP libraries outside of the SUN/IBM/MS world.  Doc/Lit was all the rage for a while, mainly because it looks better on the wire, particularly if your payload is XML - encoded XML is just plain wasteful and hairy to write and parse.  The the whole issue Andrew brings up - SOAP's main attraction was that you didn't need to negotiate with your IT security guys to get the CORBA / DCOM ports opened up (until firewall vendors started stripping SOAPAction HTTP headers... ASP.NET gets very unhappy). HTTP was just incidental, and the fact that every library goes to great lengths to disable caching, keepalives, all the things that make HTTP efficient, that's the evidence.  The SOAP over anything other that HTTP has always been very much hypothetical and rarely put into practice.

WSDL was solving a problem for C++/Java devs and later, C# devs.  I don't know thast the C++ bindings are any better for SOAP, honestly.  Dynamic languages look at WSDL and shrug - another example of the hoops that static typing forces humans to go through.

Of course none of this actually answers the question - what's a good SOAP stack for Python?  Or maybe it does - there really isn't a good SOAP stack, certainly not if you want to do Doc/Lit, which is the default for the .NET and Axis implementations.
Gordon Weakliem

----- Original Message ----
From: Andrew Diederich <andrewdied at gmail.com>
To: Front Range Python Users -- General Discussion <frpythoneers at lists.community.tummy.com>
Sent: Thursday, April 5, 2007 8:19:12 AM
Subject: Re: [FRPythoneers] Preferred SOAP libraries?

On Monday, April 2, 2007, 9:41:08 PM, Rob Riggs wrote:

> Web Services (i.e. SOAP 1.2, WS-*) are all the rage in the corporate 
> world.  IBM, Sun and MSFT are pushing this hard.  I think they invented
> SOAP for brainwashing software architects.  Personally, I find Python's
> CORBA bindings much more useful for distributed applications.  Try to 
> get a C++ or Java programmer excited about writing a CORBA client 
> though...  The C++ bindings are horrible.  (Sorry, exiting rant mode now.)

This is where I'm sitting. I tried to use SOAP for some XMPP projects,
and it was cludgy at best.  Our current integrations with partners
always seem to involve a SOAP web service somewhere.  I think the idea
is that the Windows and java tools are fairly good and approximately
equivalent, so use those.  I _don't_ write C# or java, so it's less
helpful for me.

> In any event, Python developers might find SOAP more palatable if it 
> weren't for the fact that every SOAP solution available is about 3 years
> behind everyone else.  Most SOAP implementations focus on the server 
> side while, in fact, most users of Python have need for robust client 
> side tools.

> None of the tools offer a robust solution.

This is also what I've seen.  I don't need to invent the universe from
scratch, I just need to use an existing web service.  Heck, one of the
web services just increments an integer!

The strangest SOAP thing I've tried to do is SOAP over XMPP
(http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0072.html).  The python SOAP
libraries (then just ZSI and SOAPpy, and SOAPpy was dying even then)
were extremely tied to HTTP.  The model used for the XMPP SOAP was the
SOAP over SMTP model, which is apparently not standard and
contentious.  Ah, well.

If I have any success I'll report back to the hive.

Best regards,
Andrew Diederich 

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