W3C WD-DOM-19980416

Document Object Model Specification

Version 1.0

W3C Working Draft 16 April, 1998

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This is a W3C Working Draft for review by W3C members and other interested parties. It is a draft document and may be updated, replaced or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to use W3C Working Drafts as reference material or to cite them as other than "work in progress". This is work in progress and does not imply endorsement by, or the consensus of, either W3C or members of the DOM working group.

This document has been produced as part of the W3C DOM Activity , and is intended as a draft of a proposed recommendation for the Document Object Model. The authors of this document are the DOM WG members. Different chapters of the Document Object Model specification may have different editors.

We will update this draft specification on a regular basis.

Please send detailed comments on this document to www-dom@w3.org . We cannot guarantee a personal response but we will try when it is appropriate. Public discussion about the DOM also takes place on this mailing list.


This specification defines the Document Object Model, a platform- and language-neutral interface that will allow programs and scripts to dynamically access and update the content, structure and style of documents. The Document Object Model provides a standard set of objects for representing HTML and XML documents, a standard model of how these objects can be combined, and a standard interface for accessing and manipulating them. Vendors can support the DOM as an interface to their proprietary data structures and APIs, and content authors can write to the standard DOM interfaces rather than product-specific APIs, thus increasing interoperability on the Web.

The goal of the DOM specification is to define a programmatic interface for XML and HTML. The DOM specification is separated into three parts: Core, HTML, and XML. The Core DOM specification provides a low-level set of objects that can represent any structured document. The core interface is a compact and minimal design for manipulating the document's contents, capable of representing any HTML or XML document. Depending upon the DOM's usage, the core DOM interface may not be convenient or appropriate for all users. The HTML and XML specifications provide additional, higher-level interfaces that are used with the core specification to provide a more convenient view into the document. These specifications consist of objects and methods that provide easier and more direct access into the specific types of documents.

WG Chair

Lauren Wood, SoftQuad, Inc.


Vidur Apparao, Netscape
Steve Byrne, JavaSoft
Mike Champion, ArborText
Scott Isaacs, Microsoft
Gavin Nicol, Inso EPS
Jared Sorensen, Novell
Robert Sutor, IBM
Chris Wilson, Microsoft
Lauren Wood, SoftQuad, Inc.

Principal Contributors

Vidur Apparao, Netscape
Steve Byrne, JavaSoft (until November 1997)
Mike Champion, ArborText, Inc.
Scott Isaacs, Microsoft (until January, 1998)
Arnaud Le Hors, W3C
Gavin Nicol, Inso EPS
Jonathan Robie, Texcel
Peter Sharpe, SoftQuad, Inc
Bill Smith, Sun (from November 1997)
Jared Sorensen, Novell
Robert Sutor, IBM
Chris Wilson, Microsoft (after January, 1998)

Table of contents

Expanded table of contents

Chapter 1: Document Object Model Requirements
Chapter 2: Document Object Model (Core) Level 1
Chapter 3: Document Object Model (XML) Level 1
Chapter 4: Document Object Model (HTML) Level 1

Appendix A: Document Object Model Contributors
Appendix B: Document Object Model Glossary
Appendix C: Document Object Model Language Bindings
Copyright  ©  1998 W3C (MIT, INRIA, Keio ), All Rights Reserved. W3C liability, trademark, document use and software licensing rules apply.