W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > xml-dist-app@w3.org > September 2001

Re: sparse arrays - too complex?

From: Rich Salz <rsalz@zolera.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2001 21:37:57 -0400
Message-ID: <3BAA99F5.E9040D57@zolera.com>
To: Alan Kent <ajk@mds.rmit.edu.au>
CC: SOAP <xml-dist-app@w3.org>
> My point is that if I write a client, a server may at any time return
> an array with holes which may have a meaning that is important from
> the server perspective, but the protocol does not tell me what it means.
> It could be nil, it could be 'not present'.

The point others are making is that this is part of the server semantic,
so just as you know what the "Foo" operation does -- even though only
its calling sequence is expressed in XML -- you need to know what a
returned sparse array means.

> Personally, I think the solution most likely to succeed in the real
> world is to add something to a WSDL file saying 'this array can be
> sparse' where the default is that arrays cannot be sparse.

Sure, WSDL already has enough crocks, er extension elements, that this
seems like the place to put it.

> To some people the sparse encoding is the same as nil, to
> others it is not.

Yup, and it depends on the application.  This makes the situation
difficult for generic clients.  I feel your pain.
Zolera Systems, Securing web services (XML, SOAP, Signatures,
Received on Thursday, 20 September 2001 21:38:09 UTC

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