Issue with encodingStyle


I want to raise an issue with the definition of the encodingStyle
attribute in Section 4.1 of SOAP 1.2 Part 1 [1].

The spec says that encoded message "SHOULD" indicate their encoding
style using the encodingStyle attribute.

It also says that if the encodingStyle attribute is set to "", no claims
are made about the encoding style of an elements contents.

The spec does not say how to interpret the absence of an encodingStyle
attribute. However, given that encoded messages are not required to use
the encodingStyle attribute, I believe the absence of the does not mean
that the message is not encoded, but rather that it makes no claim about
its encoding (eqivalent to encodingStyle="").

Can you please clarify the definition of the phrase "makes no claims"?
If a message does not include an encodingStyle attribute, does that mean

a) the message is NOT encoded
b) the message may or may not be encoded, it chose not to say
c) something else

Based on the current spec, I think the answer is b. This is problematic
if a SOAP processor is trying to determine how to process a message.

I'd like to see the spec revised so that:

- messages whose content model is defined based on a set of encoding
rules *MUST* indicate their encoding sytle using the encodingStyle

- elements without an explicitly stated encodingStyle have NO encoding
style, i.e., their format is explicitly defined via XSD or some other
mechanism (elements can turn off their parent's encoding style with



Received on Wednesday, 6 February 2002 10:18:05 UTC