Extending my analogy above, SOAP is like buying manufactured
cigarettes. No, you don't need to use them to cause damage,
but easy availability increases the problem.
All of the other RPC mechanisms you discuss suffer from the
same problems that I gave for SOAP. And in all of those
cases the use of those on servers regularly leads to
problems. They don't generally lead to horrible client
issues though since the clients at least tend to be
relatively solidly designed. (Compare IE with, say,
Microsoft Word for security. There is no comparison. IE,
for all of its mistakes, had to take it into account from
day 1. Microsoft Word, as the routine macro viruses can
attest, was not.) There is certainly nothing magic about
SOAP that makes it better or worse than them.
But I single out SOAP because it is the protocol of choice
for would-be buzzword-compliant people (a group who I
have distrust and distaste for at best) who want to enable
a wide variety of random clients to use a programatic
interface to use over the Internet. It is particularly
popular among people who want to do the kinds of things
that firewall administrators (rightly) are inclined to
audit and possibly block. It is even being marketed that
Therefore I believe that the density of scarily moronic
things being done with SOAP is much higher than with
the other RPC mechanisms that you mention. If people
were being encouraged to open sloppily written Excel
spreadsheets over the Internet with another RPC mechanism,
I would be just as unhappy with it. But it isn't another
RPC mechanism, it is SOAP which has that dubious honor,
so it is SOAP I am speaking up about.
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