|Thursday, June 13, 2002|
Mark Pilgrim's article about web services in Python contains one important bit that is often overlooked by people implementing web services with XML-RPC, the listMethods extension. The Python XML-RPC ServerProxy Objects documentation explains each method: listMethods(), methodSignature(), and methodHelp().
listMethods() and its companions provide much of the same information for an XML-RPC service as WSDL does for a SOAP service; everyone that runs an XML-RPC service should provide these methods. There is no need to define any additional standards, we already have a solution. Of course, the information provided is human readable, not machine readable, so if we wanted a more machine readable form, we could define some companion methods that always output XML. WSDL is not really human readable and I haven't seen any human readable SOAP service description.
XML-RPC in Python on O'Reilly ONLamp shows how these methods are utilized by meerkat.
12:42:18 PM comment 
SOAP WSDL Verifiers and Analyzers
If you're writing client-side code and SOAP messages to talk to a web service described by a WSDL service, you'll probably benefit from seeing how one or more of the sites below parses the WSDL for a given service. If you're using a scripting language such as Python, the display of function calls and argument lists with appropriate namespace and soapaction is quite useful.
This is a follow-up to my earlier post about frustrations with WSDL and SOAP interop.
12:34:17 PM comment