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Subject: Summarizing the state of ASSEMBLY-235

In a previous email I proposed something similar to the following change.  This time I tried to be more precise, so that this is more than just directional.

Change 6.2.1 #6, 6.2.2 #6, and 6.2.3 #6 in the following pattern:

Replace text that reads:
"for checking the compatibility of 2 remotable interfaces which are in different interface languages, both are mapped to WSDL 1.1 (if not already WSDL 1.1) and compatibility checking is done between the WSDL 1.1 mapped interfaces.

For checking the compatibility of 2 local interfaces which are in different interface languages, the method of checking compatibility is defined by the specifications which define those interface types, which must define mapping rules for the 2 interface types concerned."

... with the following ...

"The interfaces, whether local or remotable, must map onto a common interface description language, and that the two interfaces are compared on the basis of that common interface description language.  See section Comparing Interface Descriptions of Different Types for a discussion."

... and then add a section 6.2.4:

6.2.4 Comparing Interface Descriptions Of Different Types

A variety of interface descriptions for services exist. Examples of well-known types include XML-RPC, CORBA, REST, WSDL 1.1, WSDL 2.0, SNMP, and JMX.  Implementations ought to use the interface type mappings that best preserve the semantics of the underlying exchange.

To establish a basis of comparison between two different interface definition types, the implementation has to map one or both of the interface descriptions to a common definition type.  The implementation has to identify that common type, and ought to keep possible conversion errors to a minimum by eliminating spurious conversions, and selecting the form with the best semantic relevance.  For example, if one interface description type maps to WSDL 1.1, and the other interface type is WSDL 1.1, then the SCA implementation ought to compare on the basis of WSDL 1.1.  When neither interface type can directly convert to the other interface type in question, and conversion to WSDL 1.1 is possible, implementations SHOULD map both interface descriptions to WSDL 1.1.

Justifications for the above:

The specification already allows for the use of remotable interfaces defined using something other than WSDL 1.1.  For example, a Java JMX interface description can be marked remotable.  The existing rules only reject the notion of compatibility when the two interfaces being compared are of different types, but don't actually reject the notion of remotability being applied to said interface types.  As a possible example, XML-RPC can be represented by a variety of description languages.

The above change relaxes a constraint that imposes on an implementation the need to declare incompatibility where none may exist.  Specifically, by allowing additional scenarios to interoperate, the composers will be able to express interface definitions that more closely align to their implementation language, and the semantics of the underlying problem, rather than by restricting themselves to the subset of the interface description that maps to WSDL 1.1.

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