IBM, Microsoft, and others have proposed so many Web services standards that a new collective noun had to be invented: WS-* (pronounced “WS star” or sometimes “WS splat”), InfoWorld reports.

“The asterisk is a wild card that can stand for addressing, eventing, policy, routing, reliability, ReliableMessaging, SecureConversation, security, transactions, trust, and a frighteningly long list of other terms,” InfoWorld reports in a story reprinted by NewsFactor. “Surveying this landscape, XML co-creator Tim Bray pronounced the WS-* stack as ‘bloated, opaque, and insanely complex’.”

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