Google Code Prettify for XHTML

I’ve been using Google Code Prettify for a while to have syntax highlighting done in the web browser. Now I’m working on a project that uses XML/XSLT/XHTML, and Google Code Prettify didn’t work with that. Here’s a description of how I analyzed and solved this problem.

Google Code Prettify doesn’t work with XML/XSLT/XHTML out-of-the-box because of a combination of the following things:

  • When you use XSLT to transform XML to XHTML “properly”, the resulting document tree is namespaced with the XHTML namespace ''.
  • When you use document.createElement("span") in a DOM with Namespaces, the resulting element will be in the empty namespace ''. To create elements in the XHTML namespace, you’d have to use 'document.createElementNS("", "span")' instead.
  • When you style an XHTML document with CSS, the CSS applies to elements from the XHTML namespace, but not the empty namespace.
  • Google Code Prettify uses document.createElement(), not document.createElementNS().

This analysis already points to the solution. I patched Google Code Prettify to use document.createElementNS() instead of document.createElement().

You could also patch it yourself with the following sed script:

$ sed -i -e "1 i\\NS_XHTML='';" -e 's/createElement(/createElementNS(NS_XHTML,/g' prettify.js

A git clone of a patched version (currently only prettify.js is patched) is available here:

Google Code Prettify is hosted here:

Written on June 14, 2015