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[F&O, May 2] : error in definition of deep-equal

From: Michael Brundage <xquery@attbi.com>
Date: Sat, 31 May 2003 17:31:19 -0700
To: <public-qt-comments@w3.org>
Cc: "'Ashok Malhotra'" <ashokma@microsoft.com>
Message-ID: <000001c327d5$1f5aaf60$6401a8c0@xpider>

The definition of deep-equal means that two empty document nodes always
compare false:

deep-equal(document { () }, document { () })
=> false()

because "...if neither node has element children, then the result is true
only if the other node also has simple content..." and document nodes never
have simple content.

I think "the other node also has" should have been "both nodes have", but in
any case, this definition seems to preclude empty document nodes from
comparing equal.  This comment may also apply to empty element nodes,
depending on whether they are considered to have simple content or not (even
when typed with a complex content model?).

The definition could be fixed by collapsing the last two cases ("If neither
node has element children..." and "Otherwise, the result is true if and only
if the children...") into a single case:

    Otherwise, the result is true only if the children of both nodes are all
pairwise deep-equal, ignoring comment and processing-instruction node
children in both cases.

   fn:deep-equal(($parameter1/(* | text()), data()), ($parameter2/(* |
text()), data()), $collation)

Also, I think the whole definition for the node case could be reduced
significantly by negating it and making some minor rewrites:

fn:node-kind($parameter1) eq fn:node-kind($parameter2)
not(fn:node-name($parameter1) != fn:node-name($parameter2))
(if  (fn:node-kind($parameter1) != ("element", "attribute", "document"))
 then fn:compare(fn:string($parameter1), fn:string($parameter2),
$collection) eq 0
 else ((count($parameter1/@*) = count($parameter2/@*)) and
       (every $a1 in $parameter1/@* satifies
             (some $a2 in $parameter2/@* satisfies fn:deep-equal(data($a1),
data($a2), $collation))))
  and fn:deep-equal(($parameter1/(* | text()), data()), ($parameter2/(* |
text()), data()), $collation)

And finally, because namespace nodes cannot be selected or constructed alone
by any XQuery expression, and because the recursive deep-equal definition
for element skips namespace nodes, why are they included in the list ("If
the two nodes are ... namespace nodes...")?  Just in case?


Michael Brundage
Writing as
Author, "XQuery: The XML Query Language" (Addison-Wesley, to appear 2003)
Co-author, "Professional XML Databases" (Wrox Press, 2000)

not as
Technical Lead
Common Query Runtime/XML Query Processing
WebData XML Team
Received on Saturday, 31 May 2003 20:30:30 UTC

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