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Assaf: "The exact reason is what we often call 'single point of failure'.

I agree. WGA appears to be fragile. But that's the point; people who deploy systems like that want to be able remotely deny service, for what they see as good intent. It doesn't always occur that such a design might be used for a different intent, or simply executed in error. You really have to have your thinking cap on when applying that approach. Another nearby incident is Google's termination of its video service. I recall RSS based systems stopped working when Netscape pulled a DTD a few years back.

I wonder how many of these incidents need to happen before people reconsider. Key word: centralization.

Assaf picked up on OpenID as another SPOF. So let's hijack the conversation. I would also point at any markup technology that is based on mustUnderstand as being fragile. Why? Because you are beholden to the publisher's opinion on how the data is to be processed. That's only suitable for a centralized system design, that happens to run distributed. This is one often overlooked reason why SOAP+WS can't ever be a basis for Internet scale, but Atom+Atompub/XMPP already is. SOAP's mustUnderstand flag is suitable for inducing the characteristic of fragility. Of course that was never the intent of mU - it was introduced to stop programs doing local damage. Whereas Atom's foreign markup constraint is designed to induce overall robustness, at the risk of point to point exchanges continuing to work when they shouldn't.

August 28, 2007 11:10 AM