W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-qt-comments@w3.org > February 2005

[XSLT20] errors raised by document()

From: David Carlisle <davidc@nag.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2005 12:58:56 GMT
Message-Id: <200502141258.MAA19169@penguin.nag.co.uk>
To: public-qt-comments@w3.org

  A suggestion to change document() to call

  if (doc-available(...)) then doc() else ()

  rather than doc()


document() inherits from XSLT1 the feature that it is a recoverable
error if the document can't be returned, with the recovery being to
return an empty node set.

This means that in most but not all XSLT1 implementations you can test
for a document with
<xsl:if test="document('abc.xml')"> ....

presumably the reason why this behaviour was made optional was that it
was thought that some errors in handling external documents might be out
of the control of the XSLT processor. 

However the February 2005 draft of F&O does assume that the processor
can safely detect this, and introduces the doc-available()

An alternative would have been to mandate that doc() returned () if no
document node was available, but given the desire to keep doc() "simple"
the new function is a reasonable approach.

However for document() the situation is rather different as it's already
doing quite a lot, and changing it to test with doc-available()
doesn't really harm compatibilty (since that behaviour was allowed in
XSLT1) and it would help improve interoperability  between XSLT2 systems
as system-defined recoverable errors are a major potential source of
difference between systems.

I note in passing while the addition of doc-available() means that calls
to doc() and document() can be guarded against recoverable errors due to
missing files, the xslt-only function unparsed-text() has no such guard
as doc-available checks that the URI resolves to a document node, not
just that it can be resolved to something. If document() was changed as
suggested to automatically do this check, probably unparsed-text() ought
to change to match. If it isn't changed, perhaps a similar guard function
for unparsed-text() should be added.


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Received on Monday, 14 February 2005 12:59:17 UTC

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