Attributes and namespaces

Shawn Silverman shawn at
Mon Sep 27 22:52:06 BST 1999

The motivation for my question was this xsl (partial) example:

<xsl:attribute-set name="set2"  use-attribute-sets="set3">
    <xsl:attribute name="text-decoration">underline</xsl:attribute>

the "use-attribute-sets" attribute, if it belongs to no namespace cannot
then be interpreted as including the "set3" attribute-set within
"set2".  However, a few of the popular XSL processors go ahead and
interpret it as belonging to the xsl namespace, including "set3".

The xsl spec mentions specifically that use-attribute-sets is an
attribute from the xsl namespace.


John Cowan wrote:
> 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.

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at
Archived as: and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1
To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
(un)subscribe xml-dev
To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
subscribe xml-dev-digest
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa at

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list