removeNamedItemNS (W3C DOM Core method)

Version Depr. Static
DOM2 No No
Browser support (more…)
IE7 FF1.5+ SA3+ OP9+
None Buggy Full Buggy


var attrs = document.documentElement.attributes;

var removed = attrs.removeNamedItemNS('', 'lang');

The example above saves the attributes collection of the documentElement, and then attempts to remove an item with the name lang in the XML namespace from that collection, saving the removed item to the removed variable.

If that item exists in the collection then it will be removed and saved to the removed variable, otherwise this method should throw a DOMException (code 8: NOT_FOUND_ERR).


namespace (DOMString) required

The namespaceURI of the node to remove. A value of null means no namespace.

namespace (DOMString) required

The localName of the node to remove.


Remove a node with the specified name and namespace URI from a NamedNodeMap.

If the removed node is an attribute that's attached to an element, and the attribute has a default in this document type, a new attribute with the default value should be automatically created (as well as the corresponding namespaceURI, localName and prefix, if applicable).

Return value

The node that's been removed; or null if no such node exists in the map.


Internet Explorer Firefox Safari Opera
5.5 6.0 7.0 1.5 2.0 3.0 1.3 2.0 3.0 9.0 9.5
None None None Buggy Buggy Buggy Buggy Buggy Full Buggy Buggy

Internet Explorer doesn't implement this method (it returns undefined).

Opera does not throw an exception when attempting to remove an item that doesn't exist; the operation silently fails and the method returns null.

In Safari 1.3 and 2 attributes inherit a namespace from their owning element, therefore this method will match members of an attribute collection with no explicit namespace if the namespace argument matches the default.

Additionally, Safari 1.3 cannot see the xml prefix, so an xml:lang attribute will be treated as a lang attribute, and matched only if the namespace argument is (even when the document isn't any flavour of HTML); other XML attributes which have no HTML analog (such as xml:space) will be matched if the namespace argument is null or an empty string. In Safari 2 this is only the case for an xml:lang attribute — other XML attributes are matched correctly, although they are also still matched if the namespace argument is null or an empty string.

In Firefox an empty-string namespace is treated the same as a null namespace (ie. it's taken to mean no namespace, when it should be treated as a real namespace URI); conversely Opera only understands an empty string to mean no namespace, it doesn't understand null; the only browser to get this right is Safari 3.

: Behavior in HTML

Since namespaces are an XML construct, it's only reasonable to judge the behavior of this method in terms of XML (either on HTML pages in XHTML mode1, or pure XML). The behavioral variations of browsers in HTML mode2 are documented here for interest and reference, but the support summary table above does not consider this behavior.

All supported browsers in HTML mode behave essentially the same as they do in XHTML mode, except that they don't recognise namespaces at all. (So Opera only matches items in no namespace if the namespace argument is an empty string; Firefox only matches items in no namespace if the namespace argument is null or an empty string; Safari 3 only matches items in no namespace if the namespace argument is null; Safari 1.3 and 2 only match items in no namespace if the namespace argument matches the default.)


1 On XHTML pages served as application/xhtml+xml.

2 On XHTML or HTML pages served as text/html.

User-contributed notes

There are no comments yet.

Related Products