- 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
- 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
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
- An ancestor node of any node A is any node above A in a
tree model of a document, where "above" means "toward the
- 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.
- A [client] application is any software that uses the Document
Object Model programming interfaces provided by the hosting
implementation to accomplish useful work. Some examples of client
applications are scripts within an HTML or XML document.
- COM is Microsoft's Component Object Model [COM], a
technology for building applications from binary software
- 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
- A data model is a collection of descriptions of data
structures and their contained fields, together with the operations
or functions that manipulate them.
- 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
- 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].
- 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.
- The programming language defined by the ECMA-262 standard [ECMAScript]. As stated 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 1.0].
- An information item is an abstract representation of some
component of an XML document. See the [XML Information
set] for details.
- logically-adjacent text
- Logically-adjacent text nodes are
CDataSection nodes that may be visited sequentially in
order without entering, exiting, or passing over
- A [hosting] implementation is a software module that provides
an implementation of the DOM interfaces so that a client
application can use them. Some examples of hosting implementations
are browsers, editors and document repositories.
- The HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is a simple markup
language used to create hypertext documents that are portable from
one platform to another. HTML documents are SGML documents with
generic semantics that are appropriate for representing information
from a wide range of applications. [HTML 4.01]
- 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.
- An interface is a declaration of a set of methods with
no information given about their implementation. In object systems
that support interfaces and inheritance, interfaces can usually
inherit from one another.
- A programming language binding for an IDL specification
is an implementation of the interfaces in the specification for the
given language. For example, a Java language binding for the
Document Object Model IDL specification would implement the
concrete Java classes that provide the functionality exposed by the
- A local name is the local part of a qualified
name. This is called the local part in Namespaces in XML [XML
- A method is an operation or function that is associated
with an object and is allowed to manipulate the object's data.
- A model is the actual data representation for the
information at hand. Examples are the structural model and the
style model representing the parse structure and the style
information associated with a document. The model might be a tree,
or a directed graph, or something else.
- 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
- A namespace URI is a URI that identifies an XML
namespace. This is called the namespace name in Namespaces in XML
- An object model is a collection of descriptions of
classes or interfaces, together with their member data, member
functions, and class-static operations.
- A parent is an immediate ancestor node of a node.
- 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
- 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
- read only
- A read only 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 read only node
can possibly be moved, when it is not itself contained in a read
- The root node is a node that is not a child of any other
node. All other nodes are children or other descendants of the root
- Two nodes are siblings if they have the same parent
- When string matching is required, it is to occur as though the
comparison was between 2 sequences of code points from [Unicode
- 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.
- A document is well-formed if it is tag valid and
entities are limited to single elements (i.e., single
- 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]
- XML name
- See XML
name in the XML specification ([XML 1.0]).
- An XML namespace is a collection of names, identified by
a URI reference [IETF RFC 2396], which are used in XML
documents as element types and attribute names. [XML