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encoding/xml: empty namespace conventions are badly documented #11735

ainar-g opened this issue Jul 16, 2015 · 4 comments


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commented Jul 16, 2015

During the discussion in #11724 @rogpeppe wrote:

The existing Go convention is that if no namespace is specified in the struct tag, it will match any namespace including the empty namespace.

But the package docs don't seem to mention that. This behaviour should be documented better, because a lot of people will assume that xml:"name,attr" will match name="foo" but not ns:name="bar".


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commented Aug 29, 2015

Can you explain how we can unmarshal xml which might look like:

<body rid="1234" xmpp:version="1.0" xml:lang="en" />
type Payload struct {
  XMLName   xml.Name `xml:"body"`
  Rid       int      `xml:"rid,attr"`
  XmlLang   string   `xml:"xml:lang,attr"`
  XmppVer   string   `xml:"xmpp:version,attr"`

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commented Aug 29, 2015

@levilovelock Such questions are better asked at StackOverflow or other forums IMO. Although your question does uncover some package docs' flaws. Let's go point by point.

Firstly, your data doesn't seem to define the xmpp namespace anywhere. It should be something like

<body rid="1234" xmpp:version="1.0" xml:lang="en" xmlns:xmpp="urn:xmpp:xbosh" />

Secondly, namespace URLs and names in tags are separated by spaces, not colons. This point clearly doesn't get enough attention in the package docs.

Thirdly, the xml prefix is defined as The docs do mention which in turn mentions this namespace, but I think this should be made clearer.

(Fourthly your capitalization does not conform to the Go style recomendations but that's just me nitpicking.)

With all that in mind, here is your type:

type Payload struct {
    XMLName xml.Name `xml:"body"`
    RID     int      `xml:"rid,attr"`
    XMLLang string   `xml:" lang,attr"`
    XMPPVer string   `xml:"urn:xmpp:xbosh version,attr"`



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commented Aug 30, 2015

@ainar-g - ugh, I ran into this problem on a plane and couldn't do my instinctive google - instead I bogged myself down in the source and figured it was an issue with the lib. Alas my understanding of xml namespacing is the major issue, and as you noted stackoverflow does indeed seem like the correct place for it:

I want to thank you though for taking the time to help me, I do appreciate it. Even for nitpicking is legit and I'll adjust my vars for the future :) Cheers


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commented Nov 25, 2015

Blocked on #13400.

@rsc rsc modified the milestones: Go1.7, Go1.6 Nov 25, 2015

@rsc rsc modified the milestones: Go1.8, Go1.7 May 18, 2016

@quentinmit quentinmit added the NeedsFix label Oct 7, 2016

@rsc rsc modified the milestones: Go1.9Early, Go1.8 Oct 26, 2016

@bradfitz bradfitz modified the milestones: Go1.9Maybe, Go1.9Early May 3, 2017

@ianlancetaylor ianlancetaylor modified the milestones: Go1.10, Go1.9Maybe Aug 3, 2017

@rsc rsc modified the milestones: Go1.10, Go1.11 Nov 22, 2017

@gopherbot gopherbot modified the milestones: Go1.11, Unplanned May 23, 2018

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