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RE: [higgins-dev] Data Model: Mixed attr types or not

Yes!  I dread the act of digging through the dev list archive and old F2F meeting notes when I'm asked why we decided to do things a certain way.

>>> "Drummond Reed" <drummond.reed@xxxxxxxxxxxx> 01/14/08 4:16 PM >>>

Jim, thanks for consolidating this –  it is a great example of the type of thing I’d like to see accurately documented on an open issues page in the section of the Higgins wiki. I’m happy to recommend a simple approach for doing this based on the techniques we use on the OASIS XRI and XDI TC wikis.



higgins-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:higgins-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx]

On Behalf Of

Jim Sermersheim


Monday, January 14, 2008 1:25 PM


Higgins dev <higgins-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx


[higgins-dev] Data Model: Mixed attr types or not


This is the thread for discussing what started with


So far, we have these inputs:


I understand that each of an attribute's values are always the same data type.  I think in general this keeps things simple and is what's likely expected by new users.  I also think that allowing mixed types will cause lots of head scratching when values are being compared for equivalence (since two equal values are not allowed on the same attribute.


Drummond assumed they would all be the same type.


Markus reports that HOWL doesn't enforce same-typed values, and that in fact, it can't.


Paul states that in the Higgins Data Model, they are all the same type, and is working to fix the HOWL.


Daniel would like to allow for different types.


Mike pointed at the ITU definition of GeneralName as an example of why we might want to allow different types.  He (as well as Daniel) further notes that in solving this kind of example, it's best to retain the original type/value pairing -- otherwise you loose the original type.


The last comment was Jan 8


So, the current expectation and understanding is that values are of the same type.  There is some belief that allowing different types would be a good thing.


I feel compelled to address bug #190594 in terms of the way the data model is known/understood to behave today, and make adjustments to if if/when we decide to allow values to be varied in their data types.


Does anyone disagree with that?  If not, I'll fix the bug as prescribed.



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