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Querying nested Rule expressions of the form

a -> v -> b // FullForm

Rule[a,Rule[v,b]]

for Keys, Values seems inconsistent in List and Association and causes Query to fail depending on the level where these are applied:

data = {a -> v -> b, b -> v -> c} 

Getting Keys, Values from List is consistent with the full form of each part:

data // Map[Keys]

{a, b}

data // Map[Values]

{v -> b, v -> c}

Converting to Association correctly gives:

data // Association // Map[Keys]

<|a -> v, b -> v|>

data // Association // Map[Values]

<|a -> b, b -> c|>

But Query fails in emulating Map

data // Query[All, Keys]     (*  // Normal *)

{Missing["PartInvalid", Keys], Missing["PartInvalid", Keys]}

(Similarly for Values).

Also fails when wrapping either the List or Association in Dataset

Dataset[Association[data]][All, Keys] // Normal

<|a -> Missing["PartInvalid", Keys], b -> Missing["PartInvalid", Keys]|>

Tech support ticket filed. Is there a workaround?

Motivation: exploring triple-stores: data structures used in graph databases like Neo and Tiger that store relations of the form subject-verb-object, or "alice"-> follows -> "bob".

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't see any inconsistency with the Maps, remember Mapping over Associations only effects values $\endgroup$ – M.R. May 29 at 16:04
  • $\begingroup$ @M.R, that's right, Map should act on values, but in this case the values are themselves Rules, specifically v->b, v->c, which have valid Keys (v for both) and valid Values ie, (b and c) $\endgroup$ – alancalvitti May 29 at 16:10
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    $\begingroup$ Right, so they work as expected, Keys /@ <|a -> v -> b, b -> u -> c|> yeilds <|a -> v, b -> u|> and Keys /@ {a -> v -> b, b -> u -> c} yields {a, b}. Is that not expected? $\endgroup$ – M.R. May 29 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ @M.R., you're right, so Map works but not Query. Will edit. $\endgroup$ – alancalvitti May 29 at 16:34
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I think your issue can be boiled down to the following inconsistency:

data //Query[All, Keys]
data //Query[All, g]
% /. g->Keys

{Missing["PartInvalid", Keys], Missing["PartInvalid", Keys]}

{g[a -> v -> b], g[b -> v -> c]}

{a, b}

This suggests that you could try using the following as a workaround:

g[x__] := Keys[x]
data //Query[All, g]

{a, b}

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ +1. In version 12, the ultimate problem is in an internal function, exemplified by GeneralUtilities`Slice`PackagePrivate`part[a -> b, Keys]. The definition of that function does not allow for the fact that Keys (and Values) can operate upon expressions with the head Rule. $\endgroup$ – WReach May 29 at 18:38
  • $\begingroup$ @WReach, What the hell is Slice? It's not in the language. Is it one of those type hacks like Dataset is full of? (ie C++ template looking Vect and Struct) that have nothing to do with WL expressions and pattern matching? You know there are bugs in Dataset that still haven't been fixed since 2014. $\endgroup$ – alancalvitti May 30 at 14:49
  • $\begingroup$ @alancalvitti Concidentally, in a recent livestream SW was similarly unimpressed when he saw GeneralUtilities appear in the Normal form of a Query. In the discussion that followed, it was suggested that any such utility functions ought to be promoted to first-class documented functions. $\endgroup$ – WReach May 30 at 16:50

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