08 February 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.

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."
A child is an immediate descendant node of a node.
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."
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.
DOM Level 0
The term "DOM Level 0" refers to a mix (not formally specified) of HTML document functionalities offered by Netscape Navigator version 3.0 and Microsoft Internet Explorer version 3.0. In some cases, attributes or methods have been included for reasons of backward compatibility with "DOM Level 0".
Two nodes are siblings if they have the same parent node.
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 1.0]).