Namespace question: Do attributes inherit the element's namespace?

Leigh Dodds ldodds at
Thu Jan 6 17:55:32 GMT 2000

> Consider the following XSLT stylesheet:
> <xsl:stylesheet version="1.0"
> xmlns:xsl="">
>   <xsl:template match="/">
>       <xsl:for-each select="/strings/s">
>         <p><xsl:value-of select="."/></p>
>       </xsl:for-each>
>   </xsl:template>
> </xsl:stylesheet>
> Consider the match attribute of the <xsl:template> element - is that
> attribute in the XSLT namespace, or is it in no namespace?  Same question
> goes for the attributes on all of the other XSLT elements.  From my
> experimentation with a simple stylesheet which prints out the namespace of
> every element/attribute, it looks like XT considers those attributes to be
> in no namespace.  My DOM implementation of choice also reports those
> attributes as having no namespace URI.
> So if that's true, why don't XSL processors care that the
> attributes they're processing aren't in the XSLT namespace?

I'll have a crack at this. Lets see if I get shot down in flames.

Attributes don't have namespaces. And therefore your tools are correct.

Attributes live in the per-element-type partition.

See, and for some examples
of how Namespaces are applied to attributes.

The acceptions are 'global' attributes which live in a separate partition,
the global attribute partition, and these can have a Namespace.

I don't claim to fully understand this though - because as the [Namespace]
spec says XML doesn't support the declaration of global attributes.
Global attributes seem to be an application level construct creeping
into the lower layer. The can't be expressed in a schema/DTD, only within
prose of their documentation (e.g. something like "all HTML elements have
a CLASS attribute, which is processed thusly..."). I'd welcome any
input anyone has on this point.



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