RE: [xsl] What is the correct behaviour of vendor:node-set($x) when x is empty?

Subject: RE: [xsl] What is the correct behaviour of vendor:node-set($x) when x is empty?
From: "Michael Kay" <michael.h.kay@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 10:03:24 +0100
> I cannot reply anything definite, except that Saxon 6.5, MSXML3 and
> MSXML4 all work OK with node-set($x), when x is the "empty node-set"
> (or should I say the "empty RTF" :o) ).

Saxon's node-set() is a no-op when the argument is a node-set, i.e. it just
returns the node-set itself; so when applied to an empty node-set, it
returns an empty node-set.

But what exactly do you mean by an "empty RTF"? There is no such thing. The

<xsl:variable name="x"/>

is defined to evaluate to an empty string.

On the other hand

<xsl:variable name="y"><xsl:text/></xsl:variable>

is defined to evaluate to an RTF consisting of a root node with no children.

Saxon's node-set() extension (at least in recent releases), when given a
boolean, number, or string as the argument, returns a node-set consisting of
a newly-constructed root node that owns a single text node holding the value
of the argument, converted to a string. Looking at the code, I fear that
saxon:node-set($x) (with $x defined as above) will give you a root node
owning a zero-length text node, but I think that's a buglet we can live

Michael Kay
Software AG
home: Michael.H.Kay@xxxxxxxxxxxx
work: Michael.Kay@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> And, of course, there's nothing I could find about "what the spec says
> about node-set()", as node-set() is an extension function.
> I know that EXSLT is trying to promote a "standard" node-set().
> Apart from this, could people, who developed XSLT processors share
> their opinion what should be the correct behaviour of node-set() in
> this case?
> Could we have an agreed specification of it's behaviour? This will
> obviously be important for anyone attempting to develop
> "portable" XSLT
> 1.0 applications while we're waiting for XSLT/XPath 2.0.
> Thanks,
> Dimitre Novatchev.
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