in reply to Win32::API equivalent for Unix

i was also wondering something similar:
since playing around with SOAP, i fell in love with the idea that function calls, which make up about 99% of programming, are relativly easily translated from programming language to programming language. would it therefore be possible to create a unified API that has different front- and backends for different programming languages, so that i can almost transparently call e.g. java methods from python, assembler routines from perl, etc.?
now that i typed this, i realize that this is basically what SOAP is, but SOAP has a gigantic overhead for uses like this, and is too invasive...