Date: March 3rd, 2007
Cate: Geekism

Interesting Times

This month at work is especially fun:

PROJECT 1: Work with programmers from a Swedish company who live in Denmark and Germany to update an American piece of hardware to display (and edit!) French and Japanese text.

PROJECT 2: Try to access a .Net web service (created by programmers in Israel) from C++ on Linux. We made the possibly fatal mistake of trying to use Java as a rendezvous point to get started.

PROJECT 3: Travel to London to help a team of programmers there figure out how to clone some embedded Qt software in MACROMEDIA FLASH, of all things.

By the way, I have been extremely disappointed with the Java web service experience. There are SO MANY different Java APIs and toolkits out there, and no clear way to figure out which way the cool kids are doing it this week. Understanding Google results for anything related to Java web services is like interpreting an archaeological dig through thousands of years of technological progress, including dark ages, which may or may not be over. And the official site is no help, just pages with long lists of poorly named APIs.

I mean I just want to call a SOAP service, described by a WSDL file, and pass a username and password (a la WS-Security). Why is that so hard? No, I don’t want to learn all about handler chains or wsdd files or GlassFish (whatever that is) or deploy any WAR files to a server or install security providers or configure everything through a GUI in an IDE and just be left staring at “NullPointerException” when it doesn’t work. I just want to use the good old JDK to write a simple command line client which I naively thought would be about 10 lines of code. You know which web service client toolkit I’ve had the most luck with? cURL. BY FAR.


    cURL should work well for RESTful web services, but if you start adding SOAP-based headers it will get more complicated. Frameworks help you deal with all those WS-* standards and then with scalability, etc..

    re: Java-side. Have you checked the blogs at TheAquarium? In particular Arun has been trying to write down good examples to get started. You can also ping Arun directly; I’m sure he will be happy to help you.

    – eduard/o


  1. stevesteve  
    March 3rd, 2007

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