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# Re: [xsl] position last and attributes

 Subject: Re: [xsl] position last and attributes From: Wolfgang Laun Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2012 14:24:02 +0200

```On 20/09/2012, Ihe Onwuka <ihe.onwuka@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 20, 2012 at 12:30 PM, Andrew Welch <andrew.j.welch@xxxxxxxxx>
> wrote:
>>> <A 1st="1" second="2" third="3" fourth="4" fifth="5"/>
>>>
>>> now tell me what are the first and last attributes of  A.
>>
>> Ok, but first (as hopefully this will explain it):
>>
>> 1. What is the position() of @third ?
>>
>> 2. Why do:
>>
>> @second/position()
>>
>> @third/position()
>>
>> both return 1?
>>
>
> No. I'm moving on from the orthogonal conversation to one that is
> conducted on my terms since you are the one trying to understand me.
>
>  <A 1st="1" second="2" third="3" fourth="4" fifth="5"/>
>
> 1.  what are the first and last attributes of  A.
> 2. what are A/@*[1] and A/@*[last()]
>
> Is there a definitive  answer to 1 (I say no).

Correct, because the question does not make sense: you are asking
about non-existing properties of a *set*.

> Are there definitive answers to 2 (Well a processor will always give
> you one if the set is not empty).

No - we know that this is implementation dependent.

>
> Is A/@* a representation of the attributes of A. (I say yes).

It has the same cardinality. All values of this representation are
contained in the other representation. There is a bijection between these two.

> Is A/@* a faithful representation of the attributes of A?

No: it has lost the set-ness.

>
> If A/@* is a faithful representation of the attributes of A why does
> it yields answers to questions that the original representation can't

Because the transformation has added new properties. You might add the
colours of the rainbow, too, and it will answer questions such as
"Which is red?"

>
> So what if A/@* is not a faithful representation. Should I present the
> answers it gives me as a universal truth.

No, it's the truth about the transformation process from one to the other.

-W

```