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[Bug 11006] Note in 2.4.1 (Atomic vs List vs Union datatypes)

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Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2010 21:28:56 +0000
To: www-xml-schema-comments@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1P5PvU-0006lg-48@jessica.w3.org>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=11006

--- Comment #1 from C. M. Sperberg-McQueen <cmsmcq@blackmesatech.com> 2010-10-11 21:28:55 UTC ---
Background information:  the note in question was added to resolve bug 3228;
the text was adopted 21 September 2007.

I initially had a vague feeling that there may have been some reason related to
backward compatibility for saying all members of the transitive membership have
to be atomic, and not just the basic members.  But the minutes of 21 September
report no such discussion, and section 2.4.1.2 says

    If the item type [of a list] is a union, each of its basic members must be
atomic.

So I have concluded that my vague feeling was based on a manufactured memory. 
(For the record, the sentence just quoted was added to help resolve issue
RQ-120 'improve consistency of terminology'; it was adopted into the text on 25
March 2005.)  My guess is that when the fix for bug 3228 was drafted in 2007,
the editors were careless about the distinction between the transitive
membership of a union and the union's basic members, and that the fix is, as MK
suggests, to replace 'union datatype whose transitive membership consists
solely of atomic datatypes' with 'union datatype whose basic members are all
atomic datatypes'.

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