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encoding/xml: Inconsistent XMLName behaviour for Marshal/Unmarshal #2265
When xml.Marshal is called on a struct it will happily reflect the information in the "tag" of an XMLName member regardless of the type to give the struct a tag-name in it's XML form. This is backed up by the documentation which says: > The name of that XML element is taken from, in order of preference: > - the tag on an XMLName field, if the data is a struct > - the value of an XMLName field of type xml.Name > ... However xml.Unmarshal *does* care about the XMLName field being of type xml.Name, and currently returns the error "field XMLName does not have type xml.Name" if you have it set to something else. This is firstly inconsistant with xml.Marshal but it also makes it impossible to use xml.Marshal alongside other Marshallers (like json/bson) without poluting the state's namespace with XMLName fields. Inorder to exclude fields from other Marshallers the convention has been started to tag fields as "omitempty"; which will cause the field not to display if it is at it's "zero" state, XMLName cannot have such as zero-state since it is a struct, so it is nicer to use a pointer/bool value for XMLName so it can be easily excluded when I want to Marshal my struct by some other wire format. Attached is the proposed minor change, that simply stops erring if it can't set the name on the XMLName field, which is just optional metadata anyway.