In the past half an hour, I have run the gamut of emotions. I received an email a little over an hour ago, which I didn’t read until a bit later than that. At first I was annoyed that I was still on some list that I had signed up for years ago. Then I realized that the email was from WebServices.org – something very relevant to my dissertation project. Then I was pleased to have received this email and decided it was worth taking a look. When I was reading some of the highlights at the top of the email I was humbled. I felt insignificant next to these large companies putting out interesting web service related software and specifications and my work felt tiny in comparison. It isn’t, and I know that, but at first I couldn’t help but feel this way.
Then when I was scanning the pile of links included in the email, one in particular caught my eye: “Google WADL Tools”. My initial reaction was one of extreme interest since WADL and REST-based interfaces have become my main focus in the course of my research. When I clicked the link and ended up at Marc Hadley’s blog, my reaction of was that of interest mixed with a slightly nauseating sense of anxiety. And then when I ended up at Thomas Steiner’s site and saw the PHP logo in his diagram, I was shocked. I read some more and looked around and my shock started to turn to anger. In retrospect, the anger was a little unnecessary, but at the time it was how I felt. After absorbing the ideas presented, my reaction mellowed and I started to think of the possibilities. And later after talking with my brother, I start to feel a bit excited… maybe I can go work for Google. :)
Basically the story goes that in the early stages of my research into the two main web service camps: SOA and REST, I started to develop a fondness for REST. Then after Christmas, I found the quite new Web Application Description Language (WADL) that was being developed by Marc Hadley from Sun Microsystems. I was immediately enamored with the idea, but at that point didn’t have the time or inclination to drastically change my project direction, so I tried to add WADL into my current design as best I could. Unfortunately it didn’t get the attention it deserved and even still feels a bit like a second rate citizen inside of Siphon (my framework). If this were a real thesis and I was given more time to work on it as most programs are flexible enough to provide, I would have likely gone more into the WADL and REST worlds and likely have worked on some sort of code generation from WADL since at this point, tool support in for WADL is weak, and what does exist is in Java. At first I thought that this code may threaten my project, but I don’t think so… at least not in its current incarnation. Perhaps it would have threatened the hypothetical thesis that never was, but one can only imagine. In fact the more I think about it, I’m pretty sure that if the WADL generation is compatible and I can manage to get it operating within my framework, I may be able to turn my WADL support into something a bit more robust. Not that I have time for this now, so it may just end up as a couple paragraphs in my “Further work” chapter.
Anyway… I’m starting to burn this candle at both ends, and I’m dog tired because of it… so off to bed.