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RE: SOAP::Lite still in development?

James Sinnott asked on the SOAP::Lite Yahoo Group, about the current state of the SOAP::Lite perl module:

I’m interested to know what the current development status of
SOAP::Lite is. The webpages (http://www.soaplite.com/) haven’t been
updated for a year and still list version 0.67 as the latest release
(whereas CPAN currently hosts version 0.69.)

Are any updates planned to either the software or its documentation
in the near future? Is SOAP::Lite still being actively developed/



 Byrne Reese, the Lead Developer and Maintainer of SOAP::Lite, responded with:

I do actively follow the group. I rarely have time to respond however
between work, a kid, and a number of other projects I am actively
engaged in.

I tend to develop SOAP::Lite in bursts when need and opportunity
converge and I have a god chunk of time to work with.

As with any open source project, it is always looking for help and
looking for members from the community to take the initiative to
contribute (some have, and I should go back and incorporate some of
their patches).

I could write a State of the SOAP address to give the community a sense
of what’s up… if I did, it would go something like this:

The SOAP protocol is still in wide use today as it has become native to
so many development platforms.SOAP itself has also become an incredibly
stable protocol. The WS-* Wars of the early millenium seem to have died
down, and the few truly useful extensions to SOAP have been selected by
the market.

Most SOAP toolkits as well have stablized along with the protocol.
Relatively speaking, the status of this SOAP toolkit is fair to good.

SOAP::Lite works with the majority of endpoints, but has a number of
interoperability issues with more modern implementations of SOAP servers
and clients. The task of keeping SOAP::Lite up to date is a difficult
one. The source code is notoriously complex, a mark of the ingenious
Paul who created SOAP:Lite, and as a result baffles most inexperienced
Perl programmers, and indeed may even frighten them off. I myself am
given the highest respect in my office for signing up to maintain the
module – I work with some of the brightest and most experienced Perl
programmers in the industry and they all look at SOAP::Lite in awe.

But I am not trying to inflate my ego, I am trying to set the stage for
what should be next for Perl’s only SOAP toolkit.

If SOAP::Lite as a project is to attract more contributing authors, it
is essential that the SOAP::Lite code base become easier to work with.
SOAP::Lite could benefit a great deal from shedding a lot of the code
written before the protocol had really matured, before the era of the
WS-i, before a time where other toolkits and servers had agreed upon and
embraced a set of best practices. SOAP::Lite should shift to become
document-driven, as opposed to RPC driven.

SOAP::Lite needs a re-write. SOAP::Lite needs to live up to its name of
"Lite." SOAP::Lite should be built from the ground up to conform to the
WS-i’s requirements. It should be built first and foremost around a
wicked WSDL parser and engine. It should be made more modular so that
its components can be more easily swapped out for newer and better
implementations without disrupting users and developers. It should take
advantage of the number of perl modules that have evolved since
SOAP::Lite was conceived to reduce code complexity and obscurity.

SOAP::Lite needs your help. SOAP::Lite needs a group of 2-3 passionate
people to take a fresh look at this critical toolkit for Perl developers
and to usher into a new age of utilization, community growth, usage, and

Undertaking a project like this is not a trivial task. It requires
months and months of dedicated time and attention. And then it must also
be supported and maintained.

This project would not start from ground zero. There is a vision and a
plethora of tried and true code already within SOAP::Lite that shouldn’t
be needlessly thrown away. What we endeavor to do is make SOAP::Lite
easier to grok and easier to work with. What we hope to create is a new
module, called SOAP::Easy.

Byrne Reese
Lead Developer and Maintainer, SOAP::Lite

It is a little unfair of us to put the bulk of the development and maintenance of a perl module on the shoulders of one or two people and expect that everything will be rosey.
Most, if not all, perl module owners would welcome any help from us.  It doesn’t have to be coding help.. we can help with documentation, testing, examples, tutorials, or even just a "this is a neat module, and this is what I use it for….".

KUDOS to all of the module owners, maintainers and those people help Cool

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