Software Evolution

posted @ Wednesday, April 18, 2007 10:53 PM


There has been a discussion going on the Central Iowa Java User Group discussion board recently and I think it’s worth noting. The discussion started off as a standoff between SOAP and REST. The gist was that SOAP brings too much extra “gunk” to the table and REST is all about the HTTP protocol, clean and precise. The REST folks feel that SOAP fills the gap for tool vendors (which it does) followed by a statement that went something like “…SOAP is CORBA in an XML tuxedo…” That put a smile on my face, thanks Brandon. I think both have their place, I'll leave it at that.

The topic soon took a turn where the question was raised about enterprise ready solutions. This time it was CSV and FTP and why these technologies maybe inadequate? Why are we coming up with replacements for them that may be more cumbersome? I think the answer is simply evolution. There is nothing inherently wrong with FTP or CSV, however giving a specific problem domain; they may not be an appropriate solution for various reasons. Many times our industry creates new solutions with an aim at providing more robust solutions – solving new problems in new environments, many times by building layers on top of existing technology. Obviously there are bumps along the way and over time solutions that don’t work will evolve into extinction or something that can be truly usefully within our industry. What are your thoughts on the topic?