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From Army <qoz...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: DERBY-688: Some review comments and feedback
Date Mon, 07 Aug 2006 21:30:24 GMT
Hi Bryan,

Thanks so much for reviewing the changes and for verifying the patches.  I 
appreciate your time with this.

> 3) Who will run these tests, and when? If all the execution code is 
> optional, how do we ensure that it doesn't get broken?

I still have a couple of more patches to post to complete the XML work (phases 
4, 5, ...).  One of those patches (probably the final one) will enable the 
xmlSuite to be run as part of derbyall.  Due to the dependencies on Xalan and on 
a JAXP implementation, the suite will not run against all JVMs: to start, I'll 
just have it running against JVMs that have the required classes included in 
them.  This was originally going to be Sun and IBM 1.4, but as you discovered 
this past weekend, the Xalan that's embedded with Sun jdk 1.4.2 is not a recent 
enough version to pass.  The tests cannot run against Sun 1.5 because the Xalan 
classes have (I believe) been renamed in Sun jdk 1.5 and thus will not be 
available to Derby (so far as I understand it, the user would have to download 
an external version of Xalan, as with Sun jdk 1.4.2).

So at this point, I think the xmlSuite will only be run for IBM 1.4 and IBM 1.5, 
since those jvms include Xalan 2.5 or greater and also include a JAXP parser. 
So anyone running derbyall with either of those jvms would run the XML tests 
automatically.  That said, the nightly tests that are reported here:

http://people.apache.org/~fuzzylogic/derby_test_results/

show results against ibm1.4.2.  So while XML failures will not show up in Ole's 
report, we should at least be able to see them at the above-indicated URL.

> 4) Can you further explain the BY VALUE vs. BY REF behaviors? What do these
>    clauses mean, why is BY REF better, at what point would we want to
>    re-introduce BY VALUE, how does this manifest itself in the code?

The main way in which BY VALUE vs BY REF manifests itself in the code is when 
dealing with variable bindings.  SQL/XML[2006] defines a syntax by which a value 
can be bound into a query expression.  For example:

select
   xmlserialize(
     xmlquery('$ci/my/stuff' passing by ref xcol as "ci" empty on empty)
   as clob)
from xt_1

In this query "xcol" is bound into the variable "$ci" and then the query is 
executed.  A key way in which BY REF and BY VALUE come into play, then, is when 
comparison operations between more than one XML value are part of the query. 
Take the following query:

select
   xmlserialize(
     xmlquery('$ci/stuff[@id=4] = $c2/stuff[@id=4]' passing by ref
       xcol as "ci", xcol as "c2" empty on empty
     )
   as clob)
from xt_1

If "ci" and "c2" are passed BY REF then the result of this query would be 
"true"; if either was passed BY VALUE, the result would be "false".  This is 
what I tried to capture in the comments in sqlgrammar.jj, where I have:

  * [I]f the same XML value is passed BY REF into two different XML arguments
  * for a single operator, then every node in the first XML argument must have an
  * identical node in the second XML argument, and the ids for both nodes must be
  * the same.

I admit that the comment there could use some more explanation--but hopefully I 
can do that as a follow-up patch, instead of re-generate the patches from square 
one...?

A while back I was prototyping some code to support XML binding and I found that 
it was both easier and more efficient to support BY REF, so that's the 
experience on which I've based the decision to use BY REF.

That said, though, it turns out that Xalan does not support variable binding (or 
if it does, I haven't figured it out yet), so the difference between BY REF and 
BY VALUE is just syntactic right now.  I've chosen "BY REF" because that was 
easiest for me to implement when I did the prototyping for variable binding, and 
I think that's the way to go in future.  If at any point someone wants to fry 
the "BY VALUE" fish, then s/he should certainly feel free to do so :)

> 5) If/when you re-generate the patches, please use relative path names for
>    the files in the patches so that we don't get strings like
>    c:/private/derby_src/java in the file names.

Yes, will do.  Sorry.

> most of your examples and tests show the use of extremely tiny XML documents; 
> they can fit into literal strings and are at most a few hundred bytes long. 
> But in practice, XML documents are often ridiculous gigantic things which are 
> hundreds of thousands of bytes long, and people try not to manipulate them in 
> memory, but rather read them from files and write them to files, streaming
> them through parsers and into in-memory DOM trees only as needed.
> 
>    How does this work in Derby? 

For 10.2 I am only working to add XML support to Derby in the SQL layer.  I do 
not plan to address XML-specific JDBC processing.  I'm planning to include in 
the documentation something to this effect:

<begin doc>

There is no JDBC-side support for the XML datatype in Derby.  This means it is 
not possible to bind directly into an XML value nor to retrieve an XML value 
directly from a result set using JDBC.  Instead, users must bind and retrieve 
the XML data as Java strings or character streams by explicitly specifying the 
appropriate XML operators (XMLPARSE and XMLSERIALIZE) as part of their SQL 
queries.  This also means that there is no JDBC metatadata support for the XML 
datatype.

<end_doc>

Note that with respect to keeping large XML documents in memory, this is 
undoubtedly a place for improvement in the future.  For 10.2, though, I'm just 
taking some "baby steps" to introduce XML as a Derby SQL type and to enable its 
usage.  Thus far I've been working with a target XML size of up to about 
40k-ish, as a sort of "starter" for XML support in Derby.  When Derby becomes 
serious about larger XML documents, more work is definitely going to be required.

> Some questions that occur:
>    a) If I have a large XML document in a file, how do I get that into my
>       XML column in my database? Is it like a CLOB/BLOB where I work with
>       some sort of a special stream class?

In order to store an XML value into a Derby database using JDBC, one must 
explicitly use the XMLPARSE operator in the SQL statement and then use any of 
the setXXXmethods that are compatible with String types.  For example:

   insert into myXmlTable(xcol) values XMLPARSE(DOCUMENT ? PRESERVE WHITESPACE)

And then use setString/setCharacterStream to bind the operator.

>    b) The mirror-image question is how do I fetch a large XML document from
>       my table and stream it to my file on my client efficiently?

In order to retrieve XML values from a Derby database using JDBC, one must 
explicitly use the XMLSERIALIZE operator in the SQL query and then use the 
getXXX method that corresponds to the target serialization type.  For example:
Query:

	select XMLSERIALIZE(xcol as CLOB) from myXmlTable

Then to retrieve the XML value, one would use any of the getXXXmethods that work 
for CLOB.

>    c) Internally, does the store use CLOB/BLOB techniques for XML storage?
>       does it store them in separate files?

The XML datatype internally wraps a SQLChar value, so any writing/reading from 
store occurs via calls to the corresponding SQLChar methods.  For example, see 
XML.writeExternal(), XML.setStream(), etc.  There is currently no special XML 
logic with respect to store.

>    d) how does DRDA tranmit XML over the net? Is it externalized data?

The answer to this one is "I don't know".  And the reason I think we can get 
away with this answer is that, as mentioned above, I've only implemented XML at 
the SQL side.  Thus XML data that flows from client to server can only flow as 
part of the SQL/XML operators, namely XMLPARSE and XMLSERIALIZE.  Parameters to 
these operators are always string values of an existing SQL type (CHAR, VARCHAR, 
CLOB) and thus those are the types that are sent by DRDA.  We never transmit 
"XML" per se across the network.

Note that this is one of the big reasons why I decided to put off any JDBC side 
support for now: the issue of sending "XML" across the wire without a DRDA XML 
type was not one I felt like addressing in the short term.

>    Obviously, these questions are motivated by some of the work that
>    Tomohito Nakayama and others have been doing recently with BLOB/CLOB
>    efficiency, for example DERBY-326 and DERBY-550.

Understood--thanks for bringing them up.  Please let me know if you have any 
other questions about how this is going to work.

> 7) Another user-level question: in your test programs, your XML documents
>    tend to be quite simple.

<snip different kinds of XML items>

>    Presumably, since all of this is handled by the parser, "it just works".

Right :)  If the JAXP parser that is in the user's classpath can handle it, then 
the XMLPARSE operand should be able to handle it, as well.  If the XML document 
relies on external files, such as external schema documents, then those files 
must be accessible to the JAXP parser that Derby is using.  Which brings us to 
the next question...

>    However, I'm a little confused about how the parsing happens in a
>    client-server scenario: is the XMLPARSE processing performed on the
>    client side? Or on the server side? I think this only becomes relevant
>    when the user must do something to ensure that the XML parser and the
>    XPATH/XQUERY engines are configured properly; they need to know which
>    "side" (client/server) of their environment needs to be so configured.

Since all XML operations occur through SQL, all XML processing occurs where the 
SQL processing occurs--i.e. on the server.  The client is just sending a SQL 
statement (as a string) to the server and then sending the XML content as a 
string (or stream) as well.  The actual execution of XMLPARSE is performed on 
the server, and thus it is the server that must have the XML parser (JAXP) and 
the XML query engine (Xalan) in its classpath.

> 8) We need to make sure that the documentation clearly specifies which 
> versions of the add-on XML software (parsers, XPATH, etc.) are specified, 
> and we need to do our best to make the error messages when a bad version is 
> used clear and specific.

Agreed.  Phase 4 of the DERBY-688 changes is almost complete, and that's the 
phase in which I check for the required XML classes and throw a user-friendly 
error if the classes are not found.

I have not yet looked at checking for specific versions of the software, and I'm 
not exactly sure how that should work.  If, for example, we say that we require 
Xalan 2.5 because of the bug described in XALANJ-1643, then what happens if/when 
some other bug in Xalan 2.5.xxx (or whatever) pops up?  Do we now require that 
Xalan 2.5.xxx be installed?  Do we want to code the required version into the 
error message?  Do we want to disallow XML operations if the required version 
isn't present?  Or just a warning?  What happens if some app is using 10.2.2 
which requires version 2.5 and then upgrades to version 10.2.3 which requires 
versions 2.6--are we going to force the app to upgrade its Xalan release, as 
well?  I don't know what the policies around this kind of thing are, but that 
seems a bit unfriendly...

> 9) When I run lang/xmlBinding.java, I see the following diff. This diff 
> occurs in all three configurations I tried (embedded, DerbyNet, and 
> DerbyNetClient)

Thanks for pointing this out; my guess is that it's a test issue, but I will 
look into it.  This seems like something that could be addressed in follow-up 
patch--perhaps the one in which I enable the tests to run as part of derbyall?

Many thanks for taking the time to review the changes, Bryan, and for the 
excellent questions.  If you have any more, please do ask!

Otherwise, if any of my answers above would make you uncomfortable with 
committing the patches (or with approving their commit), please let me know and 
I will try to address your concerns.

Thanks again (and again!) for the review,
Army


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