Remove Annoying XML Namespaces in Flex/AS3

My buddy pointed out another approach that I show here — it’s easier and doesn’t actually remove the namespace.
XML namespaces can be a real pain in the a$$ in AS3, so I often just rip them out. I mean think about it…when you get some XML payload back in a web service response, do you really care or need the namespace? Nah….just rip that bad boy out and starting using your XML baby.
Here’s my quick and dirty AS3 XML Namespace Ripper — for the sake of argument and a quick example, just assume this is in a Responder object like a Caringorm business delegate, but it should probably exist in a static XML util:
public function result(response:Object):void
var xmlString:String;
var xmlnsPattern:RegExp;
var namespaceRemovedXML:String;
var responseXML:XML;

// get the XML payload
if(ResultEvent(response).result is XMLList)
response = ResultEvent(response).result as XMLList;
response = ResultEvent(response).result as XML;

// convert it to a string
xmlString = response.toXMLString();

// define the regex pattern to remove the namespaces from the string
xmlnsPattern = new RegExp("xmlns[^\"]*\"[^\"]*\"", "gi");

// remove the namespaces from the string representation of the XML
namespaceRemovedXML = xmlString.replace(xmlnsPattern, "");

// set the string rep. of the XML back to real XML
responseXML = new XML(namespaceRemovedXML);

// do something with the XML
Thanks for the quick refresher on regex Johnny!

29 Responses to “Remove Annoying XML Namespaces in Flex/AS3”

  1. March 14, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    It blows up if there is more than one namespace however, because the children elements that use typed namespaces are then not bound. I changed regex to

    new RegExp(“xmlns=[^\”]*\”[^\”]*\””, “gi”);

    to just remove the default namespace and it worked great. I can still access the bound children using the :: syntax. Anyways, thanks for the example.

  2. 2 Eric Belair
    March 23, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    This is a great post. I’ve been working on this all day, and this is the only solution I’ve found that works! Thanks!!!

  3. 3 Joe
    April 3, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Just curious about the reasoning…

    Why don’t you just use the namespace that is sent back? If you are calling the web service you’ll know what namespace is being returned.

    namespace nsToUse = “http://api.website.com/api/”;
    use namespace nsToUse;

    var xlc:XMLListCollection = new XMLListCollection(xml.YourNodeHere);

    Much better for performance.

    • 4 Matt Rooney
      May 18, 2009 at 9:32 am


      Because if you try to use the XMLListCollection as a dataprovider for a DataGrid it will not work without using a labelFunction.

  4. May 18, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    This is a great post. I’ve been working on this all day, and this is the only solution I’ve found that works! Thanks!!!

  5. July 7, 2009 at 3:40 am

    what you should do is use a namespace proxy object – everything you attempt to access first goes through the proxy object, forwards the call the XML object, but automatically prefixes it with the namespace.

    like this:


  6. 7 Tom
    October 26, 2009 at 7:21 am

    You should not remove the namespace!

    A very easy way to get rid of them, is:

    Replace the :: by _ !

    <media::thumbnail .. becomes <media_thumbnail …

    No namespace, but no conflict in your XML!

    That is the solution!

  7. January 20, 2010 at 3:50 am

    Here is a regexp to remove the prefixes

    private static const prefixPattern:RegExp = /(<[\/]*)([\w]*:)/gi;
    namespaceRemovedXML.replace(prefixPattern, "$1");

  8. February 3, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    This was my ultimate solution:

    xmlString = xmlString.replace( new RegExp(“xmlns(:[A-Za-z0-9]+)?=[^\”]*\”[^\”]*\””, “gi”), “” );
    xmlString = xmlString.replace( new RegExp( “<*:", "gi" ), "_" );

    its a combination of the above because :

    – xmlns attributes also can have a namespace
    – if not removed. this will conflict with the second underscore-search-replace trick
    – now it works correctly on youtube rss

  9. 12 Diogo simões
    July 7, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Man, you just made my day! That’s just what I needed. Cheers!!

  10. March 29, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    One of the best blog i have seen recently..

  11. April 19, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I’ve been playing around with the issue of removing or replacing the default xml namespace without string operations. Here is my solution:

    private function replaceDefaultNameSpace (src:XML, ns:Namespace):void
    var tempNs:Namespace = new Namespace (“temp”);
    var node:XML;


    for each (node in src.descendants()) node.setNamespace(tempNs);


    for each (node in src.descendants()) node.setNamespace(ns);


    trace (src.toXMLString());

    //call the function like this
    replaceDefaultNameSpace(src, new Namespace());
    //or this
    replaceDefaultNameSpace(src, new Namespace(“”, “http://uri.com”));

  12. June 17, 2011 at 8:30 am

    thx for this! you really made my day 🙂

    i was just wondering, why the hell the “removeNamespace” method doesn’t work as i expected to do…

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  20. April 11, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    this is working for this xml :



    function resultFunc(evt:ResultEvent):void
    var veri:XML = new XML(evt.message.body);
    var sonuc:XML = xmlTemizle(replaceDefaultNameSpace(veri, new Namespace(“”,”http://tempuri.org/”)));
    trace (sonuc.Body.LoginResponse.LoginResult);

    function replaceDefaultNameSpace (src:XML, ns:Namespace):String
    var tempNs:Namespace = new Namespace (“temp”);
    var node:XML;

    for each (node in src.descendants()) node.setNamespace(tempNs);

    for each (node in src.descendants()) node.setNamespace(ns);
    return src.toString();

    function xmlTemizle(gelen:String):XML
    gelen = gelen.replace( new RegExp(“xmlns(:[A-Za-z0-9]+)?=[^\”]*\”[^\”]*\””, “gi”), “” );
    gelen = gelen.replace( new RegExp( “<*:", "gi" ), "_" );

    return new XML(gelen.replace(/[\u000d\u000a\u0008]+/g,""));


    • 25 Houtan Maleki
      October 27, 2016 at 1:50 am

      All these seem to rely on two regex replace calls
      1) search “xmlns(:[A-Za-z0-9]+)?=[^\”]*\”[^\”]*\”” and replace with “”
      2) “<*:" and replace with "_"

      The first regex should have be \sxmlns to catch the white space before xmlns
      The second regex seems to replace all semicolons inside tag. Such as the : in time strings. I found a simpler approach. As I generally know which name spaces I will encounter in a project so I use the following alternative for (2) for example if I know I will see <soap: <xsi: <xsd: <a: <c: <hc: I use a look behind regex search for
      2alt) "(?<=(soap|xsi|xsd|a|c|hc)):" and replace with "_"
      ie. match colon follows (ie look behind (?<): that contains soap etc.

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