Why there is a getLocalName() method in the DOMUtils class?

Because the Node.getLocalName() method is simply unusable. Do you think that the function will always return a correct local name? Wrong. It does so only for nodes created by the DOM Level 2 methods. So, if you (or the DOM implementation, during the XML parsing) create an attribute with null namespace, chances are that the node will have the DOM Level 1 implementation and its getLocalName() method will simply return null.

A simple example: Xerces (the one present in the JRE5) creates instances of DeferredAttrImpl for each attribute with null namespace when parsing a XML file. This DeferredAttrImpl class is an implementation of DOM Level 1 and thus its getLocalName() method always returns null.

To prevent this stupid behavior you should always use DOMUtils.getLocalName() which will always return a correct local name.


Why there are a xmlns-related methods in the DOMUtils class?

Another interesting issue. One may expect that the xmlns:whatever attribute will have namespace equal to http://www.w3.org/2000/xmlns/. However, xerces will simply create an attribute with null namespace and null localname, hence something like Element.getAttributeNodeNS("http://www.w3.org/2000/xmlns/", "whatever") will NOT work.

DOMUtils's (DOMMutils's) xmlns methods are implemented correctly and will always work - save your time and use them.