14 January 2002


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 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.
content model
The content model is a simple grammar governing the allowed types of the child elements and the order in which they appear. See Element Content in XML [XML 1.0].
document element
There is only one document element in a Document. This element node is a child of the Document node. See Well-Formed XML Documents in XML [XML 1.0].
document order
There is an ordering, document order, defined on all the nodes in the document corresponding to the order in which the first character of the XML representation of each node occurs in the XML representation of the document after expansion of general entities. Thus, the document element node will be the first node. Element nodes occur before their children. Thus, document order orders element nodes in order of the occurrence of their start-tag in the XML (after expansion of entities). The attribute nodes of an element occur after the element and before its children. The relative order of attribute nodes is implementation-dependent.
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 1.0].
An object is live if any change to the underlying document structure is reflected in the object.
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 [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 [XML Namespaces].
partially valid
A node in a DOM tree is partially valid if it is well formed (this part is for comments and processing instructions) and its immediate children are those expected by the content model. The node may be missing trailing required children yet still be considered partially valid.
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 [XML Namespaces].
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).
Extensible Markup Language (XML) is an extremely simple dialect of SGML which is completely described in this document. The goal is to enable generic SGML to be served, received, and processed on the Web in the way that is now possible with HTML. XML has been designed for ease of implementation and for interoperability with both SGML and HTML. [XML 1.0]