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Can qualified names be used in attribute values?

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Yes, but they have no special significance. That is, they are not necessarily recognized as such and mapped to universal names. For example, the value of the C attribute in the following is the string "foo:D", not the universal name {http://www.foo.org/}D.
<foo:A xmlns:foo="http://www.foo.org/">
<foo:B C="foo:D"/>
<foo:A>
In spite of this, there is nothing to stop an application from recognizing a qualified name in an attribute value and processing it as such. This is being done in various technologies today. For example, in the following XML Schemas definition, the attribute value xsd:string identifies the type of the foo attribute as the universal name {http://www.w3.org/1999/XMLSchema}string. <xsd:attribute name="foo" type="xsd:string" /> There are two potential problems with this. First, the application must be able to retrieve the prefix mappings currently in effect. Fortunately, both SAX 2.0 and DOM level 2 support this capability. Second, any general purpose transformation tool, such as one that writes an XML document in canonical form and changes namespace prefixes in the process, will not recognize qualified names in attribute values and therefore not transform them correctly. Although this may be solved in the future by the introduction of the QName (qualified name) data type in XML Schemas, it is a problem today.

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