26 February 2004


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

Some 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 API is an Application Programming Interface, a set of functions or methods used to access some functionality.
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].
logically-adjacent text nodes
Logically-adjacent text nodes are Text or CDATASection nodes that can be visited sequentially in document order or in reversed document order without entering, exiting, or passing over Element, Comment, or ProcessingInstruction nodes.
An object is live if any change to the underlying document structure is reflected in the object.
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 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]. See also sections 1.3.2 "DOM URIs" and 1.3.3 "XML Namespaces" regarding URIs and namespace URIs handling and comparison in the DOM APIs.
read only node
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 only node.