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Re: xslt 3.0, and use of 'as' attribute with xsl:varia

Subject: Re: xslt 3.0, and use of 'as' attribute with xsl:variable
From: "Piez, Wendell A. (Fed) wendell.piez@xxxxxxxx" <xsl-list-service@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2023 13:54:31 -0000
Re:  xslt 3.0
Hello Mukul,

My thought is, why not

<xsl:variable name="var1" select="4"/>


Taken at face value, your question seems to me to be about why doesn't XPath
2.0+ do more implicit casting, which could give more 'intuitive' results in
certain edge cases (such as declaring a string which you actually want to be
treated as a number). But it doesn't. Unlike in XPath 1.0, "1" + 1 does not
equal 2. It's one of the differences between 1.0 and 2.0.


From: Mukul Gandhi mukulg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Thursday, August 31, 2023 9:47 AM
To: xsl-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject:  xslt 3.0, and use of 'as' attribute with xsl:variable

Hi all,
   I'm trying to understand a simple concept with XSLT 3.0, when we use 'as'
attribute with xsl:variable instruction. I'm using Saxon HE 12.2.

I'd like to understand these concepts with a non schema aware XSLT

My XSLT stylesheet is as follows (this one doesn't use 'as' attribute on
xsl:variable instruction),

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<xsl:stylesheet xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform"

    <xsl:output method="xml" indent="yes"/>

    <xsl:variable name="var1" select="'4'"/>

    <xsl:template match="/">
             <xsl:value-of select="$var1 + 3"/>


Running the above XSLT transformation, produces following error,

Error in xsl:value-of/@select on line 13 column 44 of test1.xsl:
  XPTY0004  Arithmetic operator is not defined for arguments of types
(xs:string, xs:integer)

I'm fine with above produced XSLT transformation error.

Now I change the above cited XSLT stylesheet to following (I'm introducing an
'as' attribute to xsl:variable instruction),

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<xsl:stylesheet xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform"

    <xsl:output method="xml" indent="yes"/>

    <xsl:variable name="var1" select="'4'" as="xs:integer"/>

    <xsl:template match="/">
            <xsl:value-of select="$var1 + 3"/>


When I run this new XSLT transformation, I get following error,

Error at xsl:variable on line 9 column 61 of test1.xsl:
  XTTE0570  The required item type of the value of variable $var1 is
xs:integer. The
  supplied value is of type xs:string

This error confuses me. I think that, the new XSLT transformation that I've
tried should have succeeded.

The XSLT 3.0 spec says following, about xsl:variable instruction,

An optional "as" attribute specifies the required type of the variable. The
value of the "as" attribute is a 'SequenceType'.

If the "as" attribute is specified, then the supplied value of the variable is
converted to the required type. [ERR XTTE0570] It is a type error if the
supplied value of a variable cannot be converted to the required type. If the
"as" attribute is omitted, the supplied value of the variable is used
directly, and no conversion takes place.

I think the string value '4' of variable var1, could be easily converted to an
xs:integer value (since, the string value '4', contains all numeric

By reading the above quoted text [1] from XSLT 3.0 spec, I think that, the
second XSLT transformation that I've cited should have been able to do an
addition $var1 + 3 without issues.

Any thoughts please.

Mukul Gandhi
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