Interview with Sun VP of Web Services

by Steve Anglin

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In the wake of the recently announced release of the Java 2EE 1.4 beta, ComputerWorld's Carol Sliwa interviews Sun Vice President Mark Bauhaus about his company's latest efforts in the areas of Web services and Java. She also talks with Mark about the possibility that Java eventually might be turned over to the open-source community.

What do you think of Sun's positioning on Web services and open source Java?


2002-12-23 08:38:16
Sun and WS-I
I seem to be in the minority, but I think Sun did the right thing by waiting to join WS-I. If anything, their bid for membership puts a bug up Microsoft's ass.

Sun has been focusing on web services in the abstract, and it's (virtually) true what McNealy has said about having the biggest bag of pieces that work together. They have a tradition of coming late to a game only to end up setting the bar, and something like SOAP is so crude that it wouldn't take long to implement it along with the other alphabet soup of WS-I standards.

On the other hand, I view the WS-I as a wolf in sheep's clothing. It's posing as a standards body like W3C but is really just a bunch of proprietary heavyweights trying to shape the future of XML use. To me, the term "web services" refers to something much larger than one implementation path like SOAP+UDDI+WSDL. I would put more faith in a semantic web that grows from standards that are centered in domains of knowledge rather than in lowest common denominators for bridging applications between vendors.

With their recent behavior, I think Sun belongs with the wolves. I'll be right there to say I misjudged them if they make Solaris or Java open source, but in the meantime watch them pitch in with bedfellows Microsoft and IBM to build and exploit the WS-I Tower of Babel.