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Re: sparse arrays - too complex?

From: Alan Kent <ajk@mds.rmit.edu.au>
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 10:56:05 +1000
To: SOAP <xml-dist-app@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20010921105604.A480@io.mds.rmit.edu.au>
> From: Jacek Kopecky [mailto:jacek@idoox.com] 
>  I disagree that there are three states for array values.
>  In structures, omitting an accessor and having it with xsi:nil="true"
> is equivalent.

> From: Andrew Layman 
> Per the spec, omitting an accessor and having it with xsi:nil="true" MAY
> or MAY NOT be equivalent.  The spec leave open all possibilities.

For a standard, this ambiguity seems bad. Taking my programming hat off,
from a analyst point of view I would then say "if you want to interoperate,
never use sparse arrays because the semantics are not defined".

But there is nothing it the spec saying how to indicate whether an array
is sparse or not. Does this mean all arrays can be sparse? I have been
told "no, that is not the *intent* - you would agree outside the protocol
whether an array can be sparse or not". Bottom line, my analysts hat would
say "SOAP interopability is not safe - use another protocol."

For such a fundamental type as arrays, this seems to be a bad position
to be in. This is why I personally feel its important in some way to
identify sparse arrays as being different to normal arrays (even if
only in a WSDL file), and that the spec should define the semantics of
omitted positions in sparse arrays.

Received on Thursday, 20 September 2001 20:56:39 UTC

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