XML Protocols issue 21


You raised an issue which the XML protocols workgroup has tracked as its
issue 21 [1].  Specifically you said:

"* Section 3.1.6 doesn't say in which order array dimension sizes are
listed.(It doesn't say whether the first size in the list is the size of
the first dimension or is the size of the last dimension.)"

The workgroup agrees that this is a problem in the recommendation, and we
plan to resolve it with an erratum that says of the arraySize attribute:

"The arraySize attribute conveys a suggested mapping of a SOAP array to a
multi-dimensional program data structure.  The cardinality of the arraySize
list represents the number of dimensions, with individual values providing
the extents of the respective dimensions.  When SOAP encoding
multidimensional arrays, nodes are selected such that the last subscript
(I.e. the subscript corresponding to the last specified dimension) varies
most rapidly, and so on with the first varying most slowly.    An asterisk
MAY be used only in place of the first size to indicate a dimension of
unspecified extent;  asterisks MUST NOT appear in other positions in the
list.  The default value of the arraySize attribute information item is
"*", I.e. a single dimension of unspecified extent."

A bit of explanation.  In exploring this issue, we realized that the whole
notion of multi-dimensional array had not been introduced cleanly.  The
SOAP data model specifies only that entries are "distinguished by
position", with no hint of multiple dimensions.  We thus took the above
approach of making clear that while the SOAP data model is one dimensional,
the arraySize attribute provides a means of sending additional hints as to
how a multidimensional array may have been mapped to the single dimensional
SOAP array and corresponding encoding.

We thank you for raising this issue, and we hope that this resolution
addresses your concern.

Noah Mendelsohn
(for the XML Protocols Workgroup)

[1] http://www.w3.org/2000/xp/Group/xmlp-rec-issues.html#x21

Noah Mendelsohn
IBM Corporation
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142

Received on Wednesday, 9 June 2004 12:09:42 UTC