SOAP heralds the beginning of a new type of distributed Internet application, namely one that can perform remote procedure calls across operating systems and programming languages. No longer does RPC have to be a proprietary, difficult to-understand or difficult-to-invoke process; in the course of an afternoon, you can create a simple distributed application. Just what this means for the future of the Web and the Internet is a good question, but already some are claiming that desktop applications will increasingly be GUI shells that send SOAP requests to centralized servers. Regardless of what the future may bring, the fact that Perl and other free languages can use SOAP means that we will soon be able to communicate more easily than ever. And hey, isn't that the whole point of the Internet?
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