To anticipate Patrick's comments, I'm a huge fan of minimal kernels of abstraction (like lisp) upon which we define entire universes.This seems to be arguing about syntax, more or less. I think the more interesting argument is about semantics. In particular, the semantics of coordination.
SOAP is minimalistic enough for me - it's sad (but not terminal) that SOAP's defun, WSDL/XSD, is as complicated as it is.
Had we started with a simpler basis (perhaps Relax NG + some SOAP-specific extensions), my guess is we'd be having different discussions right now.
Looking for a minimal *coordination* kernel (a machine) upon which we define entire *coordinated* universes, SOAP is merely a syntax for defining the right machine primitives. SOAP is a general purpose *language* kernel. We still need to define the machine kernel, whether we use SOAP or something other language to describe it.
What would make a good coordination machine kernel?