I cannot see any reason for this behavior besides a bug, but I've been wrong before so I put it before the community:

ds = Dataset[{
  <|"ID" -> "Alpha", "v1" -> 1, "v2" -> 0|>,
  <|"ID" -> "Beta" , "v1" -> 1, "v2" -> 1|>,
  <|"ID" -> "Alpha", "v1" -> 1, "v2" -> 0|>}];

ds[Select[#"ID" == "Alpha" &], {"ID"}]

% /. {}

enter image description here

The internal structure changed in from:

Dataset[{<|"ID" -> "Alpha"|>, <|"ID" -> "Alpha"|>}, 
 TypeSystem`Vector[TypeSystem`Struct[{"ID"}, {TypeSystem`Atom[String]}], 
  TypeSystem`AnyLength], <|
  "Origin" -> 
    Query[Select[#ID == "Alpha" &], {"ID"}][Dataset`DatasetHandle[43190226294398]]], 
  "ID" -> 96078453577381|>]


Dataset[{<|"ID" -> "Alpha"|>, <|"ID" -> "Alpha"|>}, 
 TypeSystem`Vector[TypeSystem`Assoc[TypeSystem`Atom[String], TypeSystem`Atom[String], 1], 
  2], <|"Origin" -> HoldComplete[Dataset`DatasetHandle[96078453577381] /. {}], 
  "ID" -> 3384469395109|>]
  1. Why the change?

  2. Why does this change affect the output formatting?


1 Answer 1


In the first case, the type of the dataset was deduced via type deduction mechanism applied at Dataset construction. In the second case, it was inferred using a set of type inference rules. The fact that this happens even with inert replacement does not matter: as long as ReplaceAll is used, type of the resulting Dataset is inferred rather than deduced.

In some cases, type inference isn't yet able to do as good a job as type deduction, which results in more generic types. This is what we see here. It may still be considered a bug (Taliesin Beynon is the one to confirm this). As to the output formatting, it is tied to the type of the Dataset. In the first case, it uses specialized formatting rules for type Struct, in the last case - generic formatting for associations.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ To expand on this a bit: the fact that the Assoc result isn't typeset as nicely as the Struct is a bug that Tali wants to fix. $\endgroup$
    – Stefan R
    Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ @StefanR Thanks, I wasn't aware of that. But that doesn't change the fact that in principle, typesetting for Assoc and Struct is likely to be different. The other question is whether to consider type inferencing not powerful enough to produce the same result as type deduction, as a bug. Personally, I would not, but I didn't discuss that with Tali yet. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 20:14

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