Modelling process flow using state is an OLD approach that works well for simple user workflow but does not work well in a distributed environment.
Sure, coordination is paramount. But state models sanitize the orchestration, which boosts quality and reduces time-to-market. The lowest levels of the OSI network stack were described with state models for a reason: state models better constrain remote communication.
BPEL is indeed based on XML and WSDL. It is amazing how we are 4 years into the "Web Services/SOA" era and WSDL is so badly understood...
I disagree. Most developers who try WSDL RPC find it easy and familiar. Document orientatin is a wee more elusive, but still like an abstraction of RPC and just as object oriented. So it isn't WSDL that is misunderstood. The awareness gap has more to do with the aspects of SOA that only proved essential more recently: autonomic redundancy, discovery, pipelining, multicasting, relaying, etc. Of the many awarenesses we tend to lack about SOA, autonomic redundancy is the greatest missed opportunity. It is what most boosts the traditional metrics of Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability.
But your quote above starts with a compositional analysis of BPEL. One big flaw of BPEL is its embrace of UDDI for discovery. In terms of market momentum, UDDI is a runt amongst standardized discovery alternatives such as JXTA, Jini, OGSA, and many others. This directly relates to clustering and RAS.
So here again bashing BPEL for it being only Web service centric is more ignorance from your part than a reality.
I dig the "ig-" word, but in this case you've missed Tom's point. Spring proves that SOA isn't only for remoting. As a (HTTP/WSDL) grid service developer, I found that most of the core and custom grid services rely on other core grid service instances co-located in the same Apache Axis container. Just as with EJB, the notion of a local interface would have value. And AOP threatens to dispel the container entirely in some cases. An integration language (eg, BPEL) that can't accomodate in-process embedding might be disadvantaged. It'll be interesting to see what eventually emerges for this.
BPEL is very young and not far from being perfect. If you have ideas on how to improve it, become active and join the OASIS working group!
Whatever happened to W3C's WSCI? Are SOA standards exclusively incubated by vendors now, so that open standardization only follows much later?