Attributes and namespaces

John Cowan cowan at
Mon Sep 27 22:27:53 BST 1999

Shawn Silverman scripsit:

> To which namespace does the "href" attribute in the "html:a" tag
> belong?  To the same one as its parent?  "html:"?

Neither.  Attribute names with colons belong to the namespace specified
by their prefix, but attribute names without colons are not subject
to namespace rules: they just have to be unique within their element
type, and have no connection to other element types or namespaces at all.

> To which namespace does the "myatt" attribute belong?  The spec says
> that the default namespace doesn't apply, however from question 1, we
> can infer that attributes take on the namespace of their parents.  I'm
> assuming, though, that "myatt" belongs to no namespace.  What shall I

The same answer.  There is no such thing as a default namespace for
attributes, because unprefixed attributes (unlike unprefixed elements)
can never belong to the namespace system.

John Cowan                                   cowan at
       I am a member of a civilization. --David Brin

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