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A Natural Evolution
While I understand Alan Williamson's lack of excitement concerning Web services, I disagree with his opinion that Web services is a marketing gimmick ("<Web Services & XML>" [Vol. 6, issue 11]). We must separate the wheat from the chaff to understand the value of Web services. True, it's about repackaging old applications and technologies, but this is a good thing. It's about repackaging them with new applications and new technologies in ways we never thought possible, with a quickness we never imagined. These old applications and technologies keep the world running and represent billions of dollars invested in IT. Why migrate when you can integrate?

Web services allows for a universal integration of the old with the new. OS390/Cobol, Unix/J2EE, and XP/C# applications all working together in meaningful ways? How is this possible? There has never been a technology so embraced as to make it product-, language-, and platform-agnostic. Rivals such as Microsoft, Sun, Oracle, and IBM all support Web services. The entire industry supports Web services. It will be ubiquitous where CORBA/IIOP, J2EE/RMI, and DCOM have failed. It will succeed because it's truly implementation-neutral and runs on the backbone of HTTP and XML.

It's not a revolution. Calling Web services a revolution would make anyone a skeptic. Instead, let's call it a natural evolution. It's middleware for the masses. Let the games begin!

Mel Stockwell
[email protected]

A Breath of Fresh Air
Thanks for Ajit Sagar's great editorial "We've Got It All..." (Vol. 6, issue 12). I couldn't believe it when I read the word "WebObjects" in a JDJ article. Why the mainstream industry press consistently ignores the original and best app server in the business, I'll never understand. Your article, however, was a breath of fresh air and hopefully will prove a real eye-opener for frustrated EJB developers looking for a better solution, and cost-cutting managers looking for a better value. Thanks again for helping to get the word out there about a great product. I look forward to possibly more mentions and maybe a deeper analysis of the product in the near future.

Bob Edmonston
[email protected]

Interesting editorial about the future of J2EE app servers. We've been looking at migrating our stuff to WebSphere (version 4). While the CMP aspects of the EJB container are appealing, it's still in a pretty primitive state to be useful to us. We're proceeding forward in our investigation - but it'll be a step backward for us to migrate it. The cost to deploy a WebSphere solution is almost $10,000 per machine (compared with $700 for WO), the IDE is significantly slower on the same machine, and the runtime environment is much more complex to manage.

Dov Rosenberg
[email protected]

Back to Basics
I was happy to read Alan Williamson's comments in his editorial "Back to Work with Ant! (Vol. 6, issue 12) about moving away from an IDE and going back to basics. I've often felt that I'm the only one who thinks all the wizards, windows, and generated code cause more harm than good.

Many times I see developers using IDEs and not having the foggiest idea what the tool is doing behind the scenes. Then they try to debug...

Good riddance! Although I prefer a slightly more robust editor such as EMACs.

Tim Thomas
[email protected]

Just-in-Time Solution
Dr. Java's solution for password authentication for a proxy solved a problem just in time for me (Vol. 6, issue 11). Thanks for the help.

Abhishek Basumallick
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