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From Alan Kent <>
Subject Re: [soapbuilders] FEEDBACK REQUESTED - Issues regarding Array encoding for SOAP 1.2
Date Thu, 13 Dec 2001 23:06:16 GMT
On Thu, Dec 13, 2001 at 11:44:47AM -0500, Glen Daniels wrote:
> 1) Do you use P.T./sparse arrays currently?  If so, what are the scenarios
> (array updates, avoiding sending lots of nulls, etc...)?

I attempt to decode them, but never send them.

> 2) Would it bother you to see them go away in SOAP 1.2?

I would like to see them go awy in SOAP 1.2.

My reasons are:
* Why are p-t-a's considered more important than all the other data
  structures out there? SOAP does not do the others, so why do p-t-a?
  Keep SOAP simple.
* P-t-a can be easily implemented by using a different data structure.
  So removing them from core SOAP *does not* mean they cannot be used in
  SOAP applications.
* There is no differentiation at present in types of arrays, sparse arrays,
  and p-t-a arrays on the wire or in WSDL files. This is bad as some people
  say p-t-a arrays are different to arrays, others say they are the same,
  the SOAP spec indicates they are different - but they use identical
  type information!
* The most basic array type I think should match well general programming
  language array types - and omitted array items does not fit this.
* They add significant extra processing when encoding/decoding arrays
  (because they are not different). Try writing decoding code with then
  and without them. There is a big difference in length, which will impact
  performance of implementations.

So I feel that either
* Remove p-t-a and sparse from SOAP 1.2 and let a WSDL file do it
  (eg. come up with standard WSDL encodings for p-t-a arrays, and lots
  of other data structures such as Maps etc)
* Make p-t-a/sparse a different type to simple arrays in the SOAP spec.
  Eg: if the current type is split into itemType and arraySize, add
  another one saying of sparse or not etc.


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