05 June 2001


Arnaud Le Hors, W3C
Robert S. Sutor, IBM Research (for DOM Level 1)

Several of the following term definitions have been borrowed or modified from similar definitions in other W3C or standards documents. See the links within the definitions for more information.

16-bit unit
The base unit of a DOMString. This indicates that indexing on a DOMString occurs in units of 16 bits. This must not be misunderstood to mean that a DOMString can store arbitrary 16-bit units. A DOMString is a character string encoded in UTF-16; this means that the restrictions of UTF-16 as well as the other relevant restrictions on character strings must be maintained. A single character, for example in the form of a numeric character reference, may correspond to one or two 16-bit units.
An ancestor node of any node A is any node above A in a tree model of a document, where "above" means "toward the root."
An API is an application programming interface, a set of functions or methods used to access some functionality.
A child is an immediate descendant node of a node.
COM is Microsoft's Component Object Model [COM], a technology for building applications from binary software components.
A convenience method is an operation on an object that could be accomplished by a program consisting of more basic operations on the object. Convenience methods are usually provided to make the API easier and simpler to use or to allow specific programs to create more optimized implementations for common operations. A similar definition holds for a convenience property.
A descendant node of any node A is any node below A in a tree model of a document, where "below" means "away from the root."
The programming language defined by the ECMA-262 standard [ECMAScript]. As stated in the standard, the originating technology for ECMAScript was JavaScript [JavaScript]. Note that in the ECMAScript binding, the word "property" is used in the same sense as the IDL term "attribute."
Each document contains one or more elements, the boundaries of which are either delimited by start-tags and end-tags, or, for empty elements by an empty-element tag. Each element has a type, identified by name, and may have a set of attributes. Each attribute has a name and a value. See Logical Structures in XML [XML].
information item
An information item is an abstract representation of some component of an XML document. See the [Infoset] for details.
In object-oriented programming, the ability to create new classes (or interfaces) that contain all the methods and properties of another class (or interface), plus additional methods and properties. If class (or interface) D inherits from class (or interface) B, then D is said to be derived from B. B is said to be a base class (or interface) for D. Some programming languages allow for multiple inheritance, that is, inheritance from more than one class or interface.
local name
A local name is the local part of a qualified name. This is called the local part in Namespaces in XML [Namespaces].
namespace prefix
A namespace prefix is a string that associates an element or attribute name with a namespace URI in XML. See namespace prefix in Namespaces in XML [Namespaces].
namespace URI
A namespace URI is a URI that identifies an XML namespace. This is called the namespace name in Namespaces in XML [Namespaces].
A parent is an immediate ancestor node of a node.
qualified name
A qualified name is the name of an element or attribute defined as the concatenation of a local name (as defined in this specification), optionally preceded by a namespace prefix and colon character. See Qualified Names in Namespaces in XML [Namespaces].
readonly node
A readonly node is a node that is immutable. This means its list of children, its content, and its attributes, when it is an element, cannot be changed in any way. However, a readonly node can possibly be moved, when it is not itself contained in a readonly node.
root node
The root node is the unique node that is not a child of any other node. All other nodes are children or other descendants of the root node. See Well-Formed XML Documents in XML [XML].
Two nodes are siblings if they have the same parent node.
string comparison
When string matching is required, it is to occur as though the comparison was between 2 sequences of code points from the Unicode 2.0 standard.
An information item such as an XML Name which has been tokenized.
The description given to various information items (for example, attribute values of various types, but not including the StringType CDATA) after having been processed by the XML processor. The process includes stripping leading and trailing white space, and replacing multiple space characters by one. See the definition of tokenized type.
well-formed document
A document is well-formed if it is tag valid and entities are limited to single elements (i.e., single sub-trees).
XML name
See XML name in the XML specification ([XML]).
XML namespace
An XML namespace is a collection of names, identified by a URI reference [RFC2396], which are used in XML documents as element types and attribute names. [Namespaces]