DejaVu : Web Services!

For the un-initiated, I am working on my lesser liked topics in the programming world, JS and WS!

I had recently started appreciating the WS without XML/Annotations a few weeks back, but to my surprise, the XFire implementation is no more supported in Spring 3.x hence I had to fall back on XML and Annotations.

I could come up with a working example of contract first WS development from here, and I was happy to see things working as expected, except for the inherent pain of seeing and using XML/Annotations.

This made me re-visit my understanding of whether to use java-first or wsdl-first approach for development.

I was initially a supporter of java-first simply due to my dis-liking for XML, now it seems a wsdl-first approach can keep the concentration of implementation towards the data structure of the messages that go to-and-fro.

That said, if I develop a java-first implementation, and give the 3rd party implementation team the link to the wsdl, does the 3rd party implementor stand to loose anything?

Either way’s even if they are using something other than java to consume the services, they have to wrap the response as per their conveneince, the only tradeoff that I seem to have is the structure of the wsdl message is not the fundamental change item, but the java method arguments become the items that define/control the change.

The only flexibility that I might be loosing here is the power of functional programming language, as-in imagine if a functional programmer implements a wsdl as per my current understanding, I question, does that programmers changing of the wsdl based on the arguments that come and go, affect(ease/pains) my implementation?

To conclude, do I stand to loose anything if I *still* go the java-first implementation way?

Your thoughts?