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FIX: Error message when you call the "System.Xml.Xsl.XslTransform.Transform" method two times in a .NET Framework 2.0-based application: "Circular reference in the definition of variable <variable name>"

In a Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0-based application, you call the System.Xml.Xsl.XslTransform.Transform method to transform XML data from a style sheet. When you call this method again, you may receive the following error message:
System.Xml.Xsl.XsltException: Circular reference in the definition of variable variable name
This problem occurs when the style sheet contains a forward reference to a global variable.

Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is now available from Microsoft. However, it is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply it only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem. This hotfix may receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next .NET Framework 2.0 service pack that contains this hotfix.

To resolve this problem immediately, contact Microsoft Customer Support Services to obtain the hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Support Services telephone numbers and information about support costs, visit the following Microsoft Web site:Note In special cases, charges that are ordinarily incurred for support calls may be canceled if a Microsoft Support Professional determines that a specific update will resolve your problem. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for the specific update in question.


You must have the .NET Framework 2.0 installed to apply this hotfix.

Restart requirement

You do not have to restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace any other hotfixes.

File information

The English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later file attributes) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time item in Control Panel.
The .NET Framework 2.0, x86-based versions
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatform,80015-May-200719:47x86
The .NET Framework 2.0, x64-based versions
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatform,80015-May-200719:20x64,80015-May-200719:47x86
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.
For more information about software update terminology, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684 Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates

Steps to reproduce the problem

  1. Start Microsoft Visual Studio 2005.
  2. On the File menu, click New Project.
  3. Under Project types, click Visual C#.
  4. Under Templates, click Console Application.
  5. Type a project name, and then click OK.
  6. In the Program.cs file, replace the existing code with the following code.
    using System.Xml.Xsl;class Repro {    static void Main(string[] args) {        XslTransform trans = new XslTransform();        trans.Load("repro.xsl");        trans.Transform("repro.xsl", "repro1.out");        trans.Transform("repro.xsl", "repro.out");    }}
  7. Create a style sheet that contains the following code.
    <xsl:stylesheet version="1.0" xmlns:xsl="">  <xsl:variable name="variable1" select="$variable2"/>  <xsl:variable name="variable2"/></xsl:stylesheet>
  8. Save the style sheet that you created in step 7 as Frame.htm.
  9. Save the style sheet to the following folder:
  10. Run the application.

Call Stack Information

Unhandled Exception: System.Xml.Xsl.XsltException: Circular reference in the definition of variable 'variable2'.   at System.Xml.Xsl.XsltOld.Processor.GetVariableValue(VariableAction variable)   at System.Xml.Xsl.XsltOld.XsltCompileContext.EvaluateVariable(VariableAction variable)   at System.Xml.Xsl.XsltOld.VariableAction.System.Xml.Xsl.IXsltContextVariable.Evaluate(XsltContext xsltContext)   at MS.Internal.Xml.XPath.VariableQuery.Evaluate(XPathNodeIterator nodeIterator)   at System.Xml.Xsl.XsltOld.Processor.RunQuery(ActionFrame context, Int32 key)   at System.Xml.Xsl.XsltOld.VariableAction.Execute(Processor processor, ActionFrame frame)   at System.Xml.Xsl.XsltOld.ActionFrame.Execute(Processor processor)   at System.Xml.Xsl.XsltOld.Processor.Execute()   at System.Xml.Xsl.XsltOld.Processor.Execute(Stream stream)   at System.Xml.Xsl.XslTransform.Transform(XPathNavigator input, XsltArgumentList args, Stream output, XmlResolver resolver)   at System.Xml.Xsl.XslTransform.Transform(String inputfile, String outputfile, XmlResolver resolver)   at System.Xml.Xsl.XslTransform.Transform(String inputfile, String outputfile)   at Repro.Main(String[] args)

Article ID: 937320 - Last Review: 10/08/2011 17:24:00 - Revision: 2.0

Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0

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