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From Daniel Jemiolo <>
Subject [Axis2] disabling prefix optimization
Date Tue, 23 May 2006 21:18:48 GMT

I'm encountering some behavior in Axis2/Axiom that I also saw in Axis 1.x, 
and I want to make sure there's no flag/setting that's escaped me before I 
go off and hack around it. I think the problem might be generic to Axiom, 
but it definitely affects both versions of Axis, so I figure this list 
would be a good place to start.

My problem is that sometime in between the call to AxisEngine.send() and 
the serialization of the SOAP response onto the wire, my SOAP response 
loses a lot of prefix-namespace mappings. Here is an example:

SOAP body I create and return from an Axis2 service method:

<wsrf-rp:GetResourcePropertyResponse xmlns:wsrf-rp="...">
    <wsnt:Topic xmlns:wsnt="..." xmlns:foo="...">

SOAP body that I receive on the client side (w/ an Axis 1.x client):

<wsrf-rp:GetResourcePropertyResponse xmlns:wsrf-rp="...">
    <wsnt:Topic xmlns:wsnt="...">    <!-- foo is gone! -->

Notice the lack of xmlns:foo="...". It has been "optimized away", because 
there is no element name or attribute name within the XML fragment that 
has foo: as a prefix. But the prefix IS being used - it is referenced in 
the text value of the <wsnt:Topic/> element. When this XML is received on 
the client side, I try to parse the value as a QName, and, finding no 
match for the foo: prefix, must either throw an exception or treat the 
value as a simple name (neither will produce the correct results).

I have tried using OMElement.setText(QName) in the hopes that this would 
solve the problem, but a) it does not appear to change the behavior, and 
b) it does not address the use of QNames as attribute values. Both of 
these situations occur frequently in the WSRF, WSN, and WSDM 
specifications, and it's not possible to build spec-compliant 
implementations without these "unused" prefix declarations.

Axis 1.x had a configuration flag called 
"enableNamespacePrefixOptimization" which supposedly turned off this XML 
optimization. Changing the value never seemed to work for me, but 
nevertheless, the idea is a good one. Is it possible to add a setting to 
Axis2 so that it will leave the SOAP envelope alone and send it as-is? Or, 
more immediately, is there a suggested way to work around this? My current 
hack (which is very ugly), is to create a dummy attribute within every 
namespace whose prefix is being deleted in order to "trick" the SOAP/OM 
implementation into keeping them around. This doesn't hurt interop, it's 
just ugly and bad for performance.

I guess it's also extremely ironic, since the goal of the original author 
was to minimize the size of the XML payload.  :)


Dan Jemiolo
IBM Corporation
Research Triangle Park, NC

+++ I'm an engineer. I make slides that people can't read. Sometimes I eat 
donuts. +++

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