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Re: Changes to Query 1.1 doc

From: Andy Seaborne <andy.seaborne@epimorphics.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2010 09:16:01 +0000
Message-ID: <4CF4C0D1.7020506@epimorphics.com>
To: Steve Harris <steve.harris@garlik.com>
CC: SPARQL Working Group <public-rdf-dawg@w3.org>

On 29/11/10 22:34, Steve Harris wrote:
> On 29 Nov 2010, at 21:40, Andy Seaborne<andy.seaborne@epimorphics.com>  wrote:
>> On 29/11/10 16:23, Steve Harris wrote:
>> ...
>>> Editorial
>> ...
>>> * Allow GROUP_CONCAT to work on values other than xsd:string
>> This is more than editorial :-).
>> GROUP_CONCAT({<http://example/>,2,3}) is now "http://example/23" whereas previously it was an error.
> That's still an error, xsd:string(<uri>) is an error, isn't it?

'fraid not.

See the table in SPARQL 1.0:

str() and xsd:string() are much the same except that one results in 
simple literals and one result in ^^xsd:string.

> You're right that it's a substantive change though, I misunderstood the definition in f&o, and thought it cast to xsd:string implicitly.
> The situation in Sum() is a little different, but it's a good point about the commonality.
>> SUM does not cast.  We decided that the mixed types in SPARQL meant it was better to have a non-casting SUM because the application writer can always add SUM(xsd:double(?x)).
> Yeah, but the alternative is a precision losing, or error masking cast of some kind. Using the lexical form of e.g. numeric types is pretty obvious however.
> I believe GROUP_CONCAT in MySQL implicitly casts to string, but I'm not sure offhand.

MySQL certainly casts in SUM()

>> I think we need to be consistent because all it requires is:
>>   GROUP_CONCAT(xsd:string(?x))
>> An alternative is that GROUP_CONCAT uses CONCAT (including lang tag handling) and we can make it dependent on what we decide for CONCAT.
> That's also an option. Would actually need a common parent of some kind - CONCAT is variadic, but Aggregates use sequences.

At the moment you already have hasd to include xsd:string(S) specially 
but to work consistently with CONCAT, approach it in the style of SUM, 
CONCAT applying at each step:

GroupConcat(S, scalar) = "" where |S| = 0
GroupConcat(S, scalar) = CONCAT("", S0) where |S| = 1
GroupConcat(S, scalar) =
     CONCAT(GroupConcat(S(N-1), scalar), scalar, SN)
where |S| > 1

The |S|=1 step includes CONCAT so that lang tags, what casting we decide 
upon, etc work out.

Received on Tuesday, 30 November 2010 09:16:38 UTC

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