[Mondrian] RE: Generic IIF implementation for your review

Julian Hyde julianhyde at speakeasy.net
Thu Apr 12 13:42:58 EDT 2007

I'm not against introducing variant values into mondrian, but the impact
of this change might be insidious, because we're blowing a hole in the
strong typing system. Once a variant is introduced, it needs to work
correctly in any expression.
Consider these examples:
1. Iif(1 = 1, 2, 3) + 4
2. Iif(1 = 1, "Foo", 3) + 4
In each case, what do you expect to happen, and what actually happens?
#1 currently type-checks as an integer expression, but after your change
it will be <variant> + <int>, and I'm not sure how that gets
type-checked or evaluated.
#2 currently gives a compile-time exception, which can be fixed using
Iif(1 = 1, "Foo", Cast(3 as string)) + Cast(4 as string)
So, a simpler solution might be to fix the type inference/validation of
the Iif function. Require the arguments to be of the same type (using
'cast' if necessary), make sure that we give a useful error message if
the arguments are of incompatible types, and make Iif return the same
type as its 2nd and 3rd arguments.
Note that everything which applies to Iif probably applies to CASE also.
PS Please send future emails to the mondrian dev list unless they
contain proprietary/sensitive material.


From: Thiyagu Palanisamy [mailto:tpalanis at thoughtworks.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2007 6:39 AM
To: julianhyde at speakeasy.net
Cc: Matthew.Campbell at thomson.com; Ajit Vasudeo Joglekar;
RenoMondrian at thoughtworks.com
Subject: Generic IIF implementation for your review

Hi Julian, 

We have come up with a solution to make IIf MDX function to take
(boolean, variant, variant) and return a (variant) similar to MSAS so as
to avoid all permutations and combinations of parameter types and
different return types decided at run time. 

We realized that currently there is no support for BasicType or AnyType
or VariantType that we can readily use. We were looking for late binding
support rather than the current early binding (compilation) that takes
place.  We initially thought of a base class to all the specific Type
classes but realized that there could be substantial changes and still
no guarantee of making it work. Then we thought of adding just another
Type (VariantType) and providing special handling for it where ever

We have been able to successfully run all tests with this generic IIf. 

We have attached the zip file containing all the modified files. Files
are based on revision no : 9071  (Couldn't get packChange to work in our

Extracting the attached archive in /home/open will copy and replace the
modified files. 

We have not checked in into perforce because of few fundamental changes
that we feel should be reviewed first. Could you please review this? 

Thanks & Regards, 
Ajit &Thiyagu - Pairing 

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