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Created and developed by the W3C Document Object Model (DOM) Working Group, this specification defines the foundation of a platform- and language-neutral interface to access and update dynamically a document's content, structure, and style. The DOM Level 1 provides a standard set of objects for representing HTML and XML documents and data, a standard model of how these objects may be combined, and a standard interface for accessing and manipulating them. "The DOM Level 1 Recommendation not only provides Web authors with the interoperability they need, it also unifies how HTML and XML tools for documents and data will be extended," says Lauren Wood (SoftQuad, Inc.), Chair of the W3C DOM Working Group.
W3C has already began to discuss future levels of the Document Object Model. These levels will provide additional functionality, such as the ability to access and manipulate the style of a document. Arnaud Le Hors, W3C's DOM Activity Lead explains, "The DOM Level 1 Recommendation is a major milestone for this work, and we look forward to extending the functionality based on this foundation."
Key industry players brought their expertise to the W3C DOM Working Group: ArborText, IBM, iMall, INSO, JavaSoft, Microsoft, Netscape, Novell, Object Management Group, SoftQuad, Inc., Sun, Texcel.
W3C's HTML 4.0 provides authors a standard way to embed scripts in a document, but does not specify how those scripts can manipulate the document's content, structure, and style. Several vendors already offer powerful mechanisms for doing so, but these mechanisms do not always work with different software packages. The DOM defines a standard API that allows authors to write programs that work without changes across tools and browsers from different vendors.
DOM was not designed for HTML alone. XML's inherent extensibility makes the DOM even more valuable to XML designers. The standard DOM interface enables them to write software (similar to plug-ins) for processing customized tag-sets in a language- and platform-independent way. A standard API will make it easier to develop modules that can be re-used in different applications.
Further information on DOM can be found at http://www.w3.org/DOM/
The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (MIT LCS) in the USA, the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA) in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users, reference code implementations to embody and promote standards, and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. To date, 280 organizations are Members of the Consortium.
For more information about the World Wide Web Consortium, see http://www.w3.org/