SOAP routing and HTTP transport

Simon Fell is thinking about HTTP first principles:

In researching some HTTP caching issues, I came across this interesting paper[pdf] : Clarifying the Fundamentals of HTTP [ Simon Fell ]

Thanks for the pointer, Simon. In light of current discussions of SOAP routing, and what kind of transport it requires, I thought this comment in the paper was particularly interesting:

The Web not only supports intermediaries, but in some ways depends on them for its success. HTTP directly specifies the behavior of proxies, especially for caching, but they are also widely used for access control, transcoding, server availability, and the deployment of new protocol features.

HTTP needs a more regular and comprehensive approach to intermediaries.

Does SOAP routing necessarily preclude an HTTP-derived transport? If so, why? If not, what would a more regular and comprehensive approach to intermediaries look like? Is more formal capability declaration the way forward?

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