Hashtables, structs, XML-RPC, and SOAP

Hashtables, structs, XML-RPC, SOAP

It is a darn shame. XML-RPC does define a struct which reasonably maps to a hash table. If only SOAP had done the same in section 5, then Jon's adventure would have been a rather short one. [ Sam Ruby's Radio Weblog]

Certainly that would have helped, and I'm hopeful it will yet happen. I suspect there's more going on here, though. Sam and I both believe that the dynamic nature of scripting languages is not the root cause of WSDL pain. Scripting culture, however, does play a role. Hashtables are popular with scripters because we can build up data structures without having to name all of their parts. This is a major convenience that speeds up development quite a lot. It also has a cost both to us, in terms of future readability, and to others, in terms of maintenance and (when we go over the wire) interop. How to weigh the benefits and costs of anonymous versus named data? And, how to join programming cultures that prefer things one way with cultures that prefer things the other way?

Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2002/03/04.html#a101