Bug #4829

Static variable initialised to node values cause run-time failure

Added by John Lumley 5 months ago. Updated 2 months ago.

Start date:
Due date:
% Done:


Estimated time:
Applies to JS Branch:
Fix Committed on JS Branch:
Fixed in JS Release:
SEF Generated with:
Contact person:
Additional contact persons:


When compiling with the XJ compiler a static variable initialised to a node such as:

<xsl:variable name="t" static="yes" select="doc('testStatic.xml')"/>

where testStatic.xml is:

<foo a="1"  xmlns:b="BBB" b:attribute="" xmlns="Flibbertygibbet">

the generated package contains a component definition:

<co id='0' binds=''>
  <globalVariable name='Q{}t' as='1ND' line='7' .... visibility='PRIVATE' flags='s'>
   <node kind='9' content='&lt;foo xmlns="Flibbertygibbet"  xmlns:b="BBB" a="1" b:attribute=""&gt;&#xA;   &lt;bar/&gt;&#xA;&lt;/foo&gt;' baseUri='....testStatic.xml'/>

that is the serialization of the document is held as the content property of a node instruction, with the kind of the node indicated.

If the selection is doc('testStatic.xml')/(*,*/@*) the compilation becomes:

<globalVariable name='Q{}t' as='*N' line='7' ....visibility='PRIVATE' flags='s'>
  <literal count='3'>
    <node kind='1' content='&lt;foo xmlns="Flibbertygibbet" xmlns:b="BBB" a="1" b:attribute=""&gt;&#xA;   &lt;bar/&gt;&#xA;&lt;/foo&gt;' baseUri='..../testStatic.xml'/>
    <node kind='2' localName='a' content='1'/>
    <node kind='2' localName='attribute' prefix='b' ns='BBB' content=''/>

Execution of a reference to this variable in SaxonJS2 throws an error as there is currently no support for a node instruction.

There appear to be two routes to solution:

  1. Converting the export to a nested set of aleady supported node construction instructions elem, att, text etc, which will be very costly and increase the export size considerably.
  2. Add support for a node instruction, using the implementation code for parse-xml() when necessary

The latter seems much more sensible.

Related issues

Related to Saxon - Bug #4035: Exporting a stylesheet containing node-valued static variablesClosed2018-11-19

<a title="Actions" class="icon-only icon-actions js-contextmenu" href="#">Actions</a>


#1 Updated by Michael Kay 5 months ago

I thought we had an open issue on this, but I can't find it.

I think we should probably ban it. While we can handle some simple cases by putting a serialization of the node into the SEF file, it doesn't handle the general case, where for example $x is bound to a document node, and $y is bound to $x/*. We then get to the kind of problem that Java serialization faces, of serializing a general graph with arbitrary relationships between the nodes. Unless we're going to do that properly, I don't think we should do it at all.

A simple rule (you can't export a stylesheet if there are static variables bound to nodes) is easier to understand than a more complex set of restrictions.

#2 Updated by Michael Kay 3 months ago

  • Related to Bug #4035: Exporting a stylesheet containing node-valued static variables added

#3 Updated by Michael Kay 3 months ago

This was actually covered on the Saxon-J side by bug #4035. To resolve that bug (on the Java side) we added capability to export node-valued static variables to a SEF file in Saxon-J, but we didn't add the corresponding code to import them in Saxon-JS.

#4 Updated by Community Admin 2 months ago

  • Applies to JS Branch 2 added
  • Applies to JS Branch deleted (2.0)

Please register to edit this issue

Also available in: Atom PDF Tracking page