Clemens Vasters: Enterprise Development & Alien Abductions
Thoughts about Microsoft .NET, Enterprise Services, XML and other dull and boring things.
Updated: 9/8/2002; 10:55:06 AM.


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Thursday, August 08, 2002

Mark Baker writes: I will point out another big misconception about HTTP; that it is unreliable. It is as reliable as any other workable protocol can be without being brittle, because it attempts to expose what needs exposing, and hides what can reasonably be hidden.

I don't really agree, since (a) HTTP doesn't transport anything really (TCP controls IP and HTTP piggybacks on a single one-way/one-way roundtrip of packetized streams), (b) talking to a simple TCP socket is a lot more reliable than talking to a software layer that uses the connectionless, optimized request/response HTTP application layer, which, by intent, entirely cuts away quite a few core TCP properties that applications on top of HTTP can't get to, and (c) there are indeed quite a few other application level protocols that no only allow you to enjoy the raw power of TCP (conversations, connection awareness), but are even highly resilient against multiple, random and even unilateral disconnects in case of longer network partitions or system crashes that make TCP give up. Since my time is limited to really expand this discussion much more at this very moment (the book deadline looms) ... here's a picture; note the subtle differences between these things that I just grabbed as a random selection (HTTP, BEEP, TIP):


A picture named TIP-HTTP.gif

3:00:11 PM      comment []

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