WFS Simple

Raj Singh is working hard on WFS Simple, but I think it is still going to miss the "mass market" boat by a few steps.

Goodwill towards XSD is almost gone, for good reasons, and probably won't be coming back. XML Schemas will hinder adoption of WFS Simple.

We're only just beginning to see RPC-style services fall out of favor. Web architects and developers are more and more interested in RESTful APIs like the Atom Publishing Protocol than they are in SOAP lite. The OSM API, the OSGeo Tile Map Service, and MetaCarta's FeatureServer are only some of the first functional examples of the RESTful, web-friendly, geo services of the future. This is where we're headed. Eventually, WxS will be used almost solely for interoperation with legacy GIS applications.

By the way, I also still think the "mass market" term smacks too much of GIS elitism and exceptionalism. The geospatial industry and communities have a lot to learn from the Web and IT.


Re: WFS Simple

Author: Stefan

I agree with your thoughts about GIS elitism (or ignorance to mainstream IT?). But I don't see why WMS and WFS (simple) should be RPC-style? They are quite as RESTful as many examples you mention, aren't they? Regarding XML Schema: I've never been in favor of XML Schema but I don't think that it will go soon in face of so many existing tools and scholars. And if yes: What - better, non-XML(?) - alternative to take?

Re: WFS Simple

Author: Sean

No, Stefan, WMS and WFS Simple are not restful. There's more to it than just returning imagery or plain ole XML. From Fielding (6.5.2):
What makes HTTP significantly different from RPC is that the requests are directed to resources using a generic interface with standard semantics that can be interpreted by intermediaries almost as well as by the machines that originate services.
Only very specialized clients and servers know what to make of WxS semantics, and this makes it much more challenging (for example) to use caching or proxying layers.