XML Digital Signature throws NAMESPACE_ERR exception under OpenJDK 11 that works under Java SE 8, 9 and 10

Sean Mullan sean.mullan at oracle.com
Tue Feb 12 22:14:41 UTC 2019

The bug is now at https://bugs.openjdk.java.net/browse/JDK-8218629

I have started looking at this issue and have some progress I can report.

In JDK 9, we updated the version of the Apache XML Signature 
implementation in the JDK. Some of the marshalling code was rewritten 
such that it will throw Exceptions if legacy DOM level 1 methods were 
used to create XML content which is then passed into XMLObject and 
similar XMLSignature types that take DOMStructure objects. This is 
because the DOM level 1 methods do not support namespaces.

I am still evaluating what the best fix is. However, you can workaround 
the issue by always using DOM level 3 methods which are namespace aware. 
For example, use Document.createElementNS instead of 
Document.createElement and Element.createAttributeNS instead of 

Using legacy or non-namespace aware XML parsers or implementations is 
not recommended and the XML Signature Best Practices document gives some 
That said, this is a regression in behavior so it would be best if we 
could restore the previous behavior.

I have attached a modified version of the test case to the bug report 
which no longer throws an Exception. Let me know if this is an 
acceptable workaround. Double-check the namespaces that I used to make 
sure they are correct.


On 2/7/19 11:23 AM, Open eSignForms wrote:

> On 2/7/19 7:49 AM, Sean Mullan wrote:
>> On 2/6/19 4:51 PM, Open eSignForms wrote:
>>> I have a test version of the code that can run standalone and shows 
>>> the bug.  I'm not sure how best to transfer this information to the 
>>> forum for those to play with, but it is included below.
>> Thanks, I can reproduce the issue now. I will need to debug further to 
>> see what might be causing this.
>> --Sean

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