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[Bug 2790] Instance of with union type results in surprising results

From: <bugzilla@wiggum.w3.org>
Date: Wed, 01 Feb 2006 16:14:53 +0000
To: public-qt-comments@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1F4KdB-0005Mt-91@wiggum.w3.org>


           Summary: Instance of with union type results in surprising
           Product: XPath / XQuery / XSLT
           Version: Candidate Recommendation
          Platform: PC
        OS/Version: Windows XP
            Status: NEW
          Severity: normal
          Priority: P2
         Component: Data Model
        AssignedTo: Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM
        ReportedBy: mrys@microsoft.com
         QAContact: public-qt-comments@w3.org

Let's assume that we have


declare element E of type U
define type U restricts xs:anySimpleType { T1 | T2 }
define type T1 restricts xs:int
define type T2 restricts xs:string

Instances that are validated according to the schema

<E xsi:type="T2">42</E>

The question is what the result of the following queries are:

Q1: for $e in /E 
return $e instance of element(E, U)
Q2: for $e in /E 
return $e instance of element(E, T1)

Q3: for $e in /E 
return $e instance of element(E, T2)

Q4: for $e in /E
return data($e) instance of T1

Q5: for $e in /E
return data($e) instance of T2

Q6: for $e in /E
return data($e) instance of U

Let's look at the validation and data model generation where I still think we 
have a need for further clarification.

XSD and PSVI generation: This is not fully clear yet. We all agree that the 
types T1 and T2 are not subtypes in the XQuery type system but that they are 
member types of the union type U. 

This is what I found in the XML Schema document about this type of validation 
(and to be honest, I can not clearly understand how this applies to the given 

Schema Information Set Contribution: Element Validated by Type

If an element information item is ·valid· with respect to a ·type definition· 
as per Element Locally Valid (Type) (§3.3.4), in the ·post-schema-validation 
infoset· the item has a property: 

PSVI Contributions for element information items 
[schema normalized value] 

The appropriate case among the following: 
1. If clause 3.2 of Element Locally Valid (Element) (§3.3.4) and 
   Element Default Value (§3.3.5) above have not applied and either 
   the ·type definition· is a simple type definition or its {content 
   type} is a simple type definition, then the ·normalized value· of 
   the item as ·validated·.

2. otherwise ·absent·.

Furthermore, the item has one of the following alternative sets of properties: 


PSVI Contributions for element information items 
[type definition] 
An ·item isomorphic· to the ·type definition· component itself. 

[member type definition] 
If and only if that type definition is a simple type definition with {variety} 
union, or a complex type definition whose {content type} is a simple type 
definition with {variety} union, then an ·item isomorphic· to that member of 
the union's {member type definitions} which actually ·validated· the element 
item's ·normalized value·. 

Some of my schema experts think that this means that if xsi:type is given, 
only the type given in xsi:type is being preserved for the element's type, 
since validation will pick the type given in xsi:type directly and not look at 
the union type at all. Let's call that interpretation A.

On the other hand, this seems like it is loosing type information and is in 
contradiction to what we expect from the data model document which says: Element and Attribute Node Type Names

The precise definition of the schema type of an element or attribute 
information item depends on the properties of the PSVI. In the PSVI, [Schema 
Part 1] only guarantees the existence of either the [type definition] 
property, or the [type definition namespace], [type definition name] and [type 
definition anonymous] properties. If the type definition refers to a union 
type, there are further properties defined, that refer to the type definition 
which actually validated the item's normalized value. These properties are not 
used to determine the schema type of the node but they may be used to 
determine the typed value of the node, as described in Typed Value 

This explanation seems to be clear, but according to interpretation A of the 
schema document, you would not have the node's type if an xsi:type value has 
been present. But let's assume that interpretation A is wrong and that we can 
map the PSVI into the following data model instance (let's call this 
interpretation B):

element E of type U{42 of type T1}
element E of type U{"42" of type T2}

Note that according to interpretation A we would get:

element E of type U{42 of type T1}
element E of type T2{"42" of type T2}

Now let's look what the answers should be for Q1 to Q6 given interpretations A 
and B:

Q1 - A: true false
Q1 - B: true true

Q2 - A: false false
Q2 - B: false false

Q3 - A: false true
Q3 - B: false false

Q4 - A: true false
Q4 - B: true false

Q5 - A: false true
Q5 - B: false true

Q6: Parse error since U is not an atomic type.

Obviously, from a type consistency point of view, in my personal opinion, 
interpretation B is the only one that makes sense. However, interpretation A 
seems to be what the schema processor implies according to our reading.

The question is, is interpretation A correct (and therefore schema's semantics 
inconsistent) or interpretation B (and therefore the schema spec needs to be 
fixed or clarified)?

According to (member-only) http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-xml-query-
wg/2005Dec/0025.html, we need to fix the PSVI to Data model mapping with:

So data model construction could/should be fixed to always use the
declared type for the node's type.  The only time this will be
different from the [type definition] is when xsi:type has been used.
Received on Wednesday, 1 February 2006 16:14:58 UTC

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