[vbox-dev] Fwd: Changes to the Virtualbox API

Tiago Espinha tiago at espinha.pt
Wed Jan 8 08:32:47 UTC 2014

Dear all,

I'm back with a couple more questions regarding the VirtualBox web API
(i.e. the SOAP services it makes available). If someone who's been involved
with the development of the VirtualBox APIs could shed some light, it would
be greatly appreciated!

(My questions come in the context of an academic paper I'm currently
working on)

>From what I've seen, the SOAP web services are generated from the XIDL file
which is also used to generate the C and Python interfaces (and possibly
others). Does this mean that the web services were added to VirtualBox
later on as a "nice to have addon" rather than developed from scratch?

Also when dealing with web services, it's sometimes the case that the web
service provider is not the same entity as the web service consumers...
this leads to the web service provider having some power over the consumers
insofar that should the provider choose to migrate to a newer version, the
consumers are forced to adapt their clients to cope with the changes (which
does not happen when dealing with statically linked libraries).

Is this something that the Virtualbox developer community considered when
developing the web services? Is it still considered nowadays (i.e. are the
developers more parsimonious when it comes to pushing changes to the API)?

Thanks in advance for all the input!


Tiago Espinha | Ph.D. Candidate

Software Engineering Research Group

Delft University of Technology
Mekelweg 4,
2628 CD Delft
The Netherlands
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