Omitting all xsi and xsd namespaces when serializing an object in .NET?


Question

The code looks like this:

StringBuilder builder = new StringBuilder();
XmlWriterSettings settings = new XmlWriterSettings();
settings.OmitXmlDeclaration = true;
using (XmlWriter xmlWriter = XmlWriter.Create(builder, settings))
{
    XmlSerializer s = new XmlSerializer(objectToSerialize.GetType());
    s.Serialize(xmlWriter, objectToSerialize);
}

The resulting serialized document includes namespaces, like so:

<message xmlns:xsi=\"http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance\" 
    xmlns:xsd=\"http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema\" 
    xmlns="urn:something">
 ...
</message>

To remove the xsi and xsd namespaces, I can follow the answer from How to serialize an object to XML without getting xmlns=”…”?.

I want my message tag as <message> (without any namespace attributes). How can I do this?

1
118
5/23/2017 12:10:30 PM

Accepted Answer

...
XmlSerializer s = new XmlSerializer(objectToSerialize.GetType());
XmlSerializerNamespaces ns = new XmlSerializerNamespaces();
ns.Add("","");
s.Serialize(xmlWriter, objectToSerialize, ns);
223
6/1/2009 5:05:39 PM

This is the 2nd of two answers.

If you want to just strip all namespaces arbitrarily from a document during serialization, you can do this by implementing your own XmlWriter.

The easiest way is to derive from XmlTextWriter and override the StartElement method that emits namespaces. The StartElement method is invoked by the XmlSerializer when emitting any elements, including the root. By overriding the namespace for each element, and replacing it with the empty string, you've stripped the namespaces from the output.

public class NoNamespaceXmlWriter : XmlTextWriter
{
    //Provide as many contructors as you need
    public NoNamespaceXmlWriter(System.IO.TextWriter output)
        : base(output) { Formatting= System.Xml.Formatting.Indented;}

    public override void WriteStartDocument () { }

    public override void WriteStartElement(string prefix, string localName, string ns)
    {
        base.WriteStartElement("", localName, "");
    }
}

Suppose this is the type:

// explicitly specify a namespace for this type,
// to be used during XML serialization.
[XmlRoot(Namespace="urn:Abracadabra")]
public class MyTypeWithNamespaces
{
    // private fields backing the properties
    private int _Epoch;
    private string _Label;

    // explicitly define a distinct namespace for this element
    [XmlElement(Namespace="urn:Whoohoo")]
    public string Label
    {
        set {  _Label= value; } 
        get { return _Label; } 
    }

    // this property will be implicitly serialized to XML using the
    // member name for the element name, and inheriting the namespace from
    // the type.
    public int Epoch
    {
        set {  _Epoch= value; } 
        get { return _Epoch; } 
    }
}

Here's how you would use such a thing during serialization:

        var o2= new MyTypeWithNamespaces { ..intializers.. };
        var builder = new System.Text.StringBuilder();
        using ( XmlWriter writer = new NoNamespaceXmlWriter(new System.IO.StringWriter(builder)))
        {
            s2.Serialize(writer, o2, ns2);
        }            
        Console.WriteLine("{0}",builder.ToString());

The XmlTextWriter is sort of broken, though. According to the reference doc, when it writes it does not check for the following:

  • Invalid characters in attribute and element names.

  • Unicode characters that do not fit the specified encoding. If the Unicode characters do not fit the specified encoding, the XmlTextWriter does not escape the Unicode characters into character entities.

  • Duplicate attributes.

  • Characters in the DOCTYPE public identifier or system identifier.

These problems with XmlTextWriter have been around since v1.1 of the .NET Framework, and they will remain, for backward compatibility. If you have no concerns about those problems, then by all means use the XmlTextWriter. But most people would like a bit more reliability.

To get that, while still suppressing namespaces during serialization, instead of deriving from XmlTextWriter, define a concrete implementation of the abstract XmlWriter and its 24 methods.

An example is here:

public class XmlWriterWrapper : XmlWriter
{
    protected XmlWriter writer;

    public XmlWriterWrapper(XmlWriter baseWriter)
    {
        this.Writer = baseWriter;
    }

    public override void Close()
    {
        this.writer.Close();
    }

    protected override void Dispose(bool disposing)
    {
        ((IDisposable) this.writer).Dispose();
    }

    public override void Flush()
    {
        this.writer.Flush();
    }

    public override string LookupPrefix(string ns)
    {
        return this.writer.LookupPrefix(ns);
    }

    public override void WriteBase64(byte[] buffer, int index, int count)
    {
        this.writer.WriteBase64(buffer, index, count);
    }

    public override void WriteCData(string text)
    {
        this.writer.WriteCData(text);
    }

    public override void WriteCharEntity(char ch)
    {
        this.writer.WriteCharEntity(ch);
    }

    public override void WriteChars(char[] buffer, int index, int count)
    {
        this.writer.WriteChars(buffer, index, count);
    }

    public override void WriteComment(string text)
    {
        this.writer.WriteComment(text);
    }

    public override void WriteDocType(string name, string pubid, string sysid, string subset)
    {
        this.writer.WriteDocType(name, pubid, sysid, subset);
    }

    public override void WriteEndAttribute()
    {
        this.writer.WriteEndAttribute();
    }

    public override void WriteEndDocument()
    {
        this.writer.WriteEndDocument();
    }

    public override void WriteEndElement()
    {
        this.writer.WriteEndElement();
    }

    public override void WriteEntityRef(string name)
    {
        this.writer.WriteEntityRef(name);
    }

    public override void WriteFullEndElement()
    {
        this.writer.WriteFullEndElement();
    }

    public override void WriteProcessingInstruction(string name, string text)
    {
        this.writer.WriteProcessingInstruction(name, text);
    }

    public override void WriteRaw(string data)
    {
        this.writer.WriteRaw(data);
    }

    public override void WriteRaw(char[] buffer, int index, int count)
    {
        this.writer.WriteRaw(buffer, index, count);
    }

    public override void WriteStartAttribute(string prefix, string localName, string ns)
    {
        this.writer.WriteStartAttribute(prefix, localName, ns);
    }

    public override void WriteStartDocument()
    {
        this.writer.WriteStartDocument();
    }

    public override void WriteStartDocument(bool standalone)
    {
        this.writer.WriteStartDocument(standalone);
    }

    public override void WriteStartElement(string prefix, string localName, string ns)
    {
        this.writer.WriteStartElement(prefix, localName, ns);
    }

    public override void WriteString(string text)
    {
        this.writer.WriteString(text);
    }

    public override void WriteSurrogateCharEntity(char lowChar, char highChar)
    {
        this.writer.WriteSurrogateCharEntity(lowChar, highChar);
    }

    public override void WriteValue(bool value)
    {
        this.writer.WriteValue(value);
    }

    public override void WriteValue(DateTime value)
    {
        this.writer.WriteValue(value);
    }

    public override void WriteValue(decimal value)
    {
        this.writer.WriteValue(value);
    }

    public override void WriteValue(double value)
    {
        this.writer.WriteValue(value);
    }

    public override void WriteValue(int value)
    {
        this.writer.WriteValue(value);
    }

    public override void WriteValue(long value)
    {
        this.writer.WriteValue(value);
    }

    public override void WriteValue(object value)
    {
        this.writer.WriteValue(value);
    }

    public override void WriteValue(float value)
    {
        this.writer.WriteValue(value);
    }

    public override void WriteValue(string value)
    {
        this.writer.WriteValue(value);
    }

    public override void WriteWhitespace(string ws)
    {
        this.writer.WriteWhitespace(ws);
    }


    public override XmlWriterSettings Settings
    {
        get
        {
            return this.writer.Settings;
        }
    }

    protected XmlWriter Writer
    {
        get
        {
            return this.writer;
        }
        set
        {
            this.writer = value;
        }
    }

    public override System.Xml.WriteState WriteState
    {
        get
        {
            return this.writer.WriteState;
        }
    }

    public override string XmlLang
    {
        get
        {
            return this.writer.XmlLang;
        }
    }

    public override System.Xml.XmlSpace XmlSpace
    {
        get
        {
            return this.writer.XmlSpace;
        }
    }        
}

Then, provide a derived class that overrides the StartElement method, as before:

public class NamespaceSupressingXmlWriter : XmlWriterWrapper
{
    //Provide as many contructors as you need
    public NamespaceSupressingXmlWriter(System.IO.TextWriter output)
        : base(XmlWriter.Create(output)) { }

    public NamespaceSupressingXmlWriter(XmlWriter output)
        : base(XmlWriter.Create(output)) { }

    public override void WriteStartElement(string prefix, string localName, string ns)
    {
        base.WriteStartElement("", localName, "");
    }
}

And then use this writer like so:

        var o2= new MyTypeWithNamespaces { ..intializers.. };
        var builder = new System.Text.StringBuilder();
        var settings = new XmlWriterSettings { OmitXmlDeclaration = true, Indent= true };
        using ( XmlWriter innerWriter = XmlWriter.Create(builder, settings))
            using ( XmlWriter writer = new NamespaceSupressingXmlWriter(innerWriter))
            {
                s2.Serialize(writer, o2, ns2);
            }            
        Console.WriteLine("{0}",builder.ToString());

Credit for this to Oleg Tkachenko.


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