World Wide Web Consortium Issues DOM Level 2 As a W3C Recommendation

Author(s) and publish date


DOM Level 2 Delivers Standard API and Dynamism to XML

Testimonials -- 13 November 2000 -- Leading the Web to its full potential, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today released the Document Object Model Level 2 specification as a W3C Recommendation. The specification reflects cross-industry agreement on a standard API (Applications Programming Interface) for manipulating documents and data through a programming language (such as Java or ECMAScript). A W3C Recommendation indicates that a specification is stable, contributes to Web interoperability, and has been reviewed by the W3C Membership, who favor its adoption by the industry.

DOM Level 2 Brings Platform-Neutral Dynamic Content to the Web

Created and developed by the W3C Document Object Model (DOM) Working Group, this specification extends the platform- and language-neutral interface to access and update dynamically a document's content, structure, and style first described by the DOM Level 1 Recommendation. The DOM Level 2 provides a standard set of objects for representing Extensible Markup Language (XML) documents and data, including namespace support, a style sheet platform which adds support for CSS 1 and 2, a standard model of how these objects may be combined, and a standard interface for accessing and manipulating them.

"The DOM Level 2 Recommendation builds on the solid work done in DOM Level 1, and gives Web authors the power to move to XML for dynamic content," says Lauren Wood of SoftQuad Software Inc., and Chair of the W3C DOM Working Group. "The DOM also provides developers with the interoperability and integration ability they need. There are now several implementations of the DOM, in different programming languages, which provide the basis of powerful systems meeting the business needs of several large organizations."

DOM Level 2 Delivers Interoperable Software for XML Documents with Namespace Support

DOM Level 1 was designed for HTML 4.0 and XML 1.0. With DOM Level 2, authors can take further advantage of the extensibility of XML. Simply put, anywhere you use XML, you can now use the DOM to manipulate it.

The standard DOM interface makes it possible to write software (similar to plug-ins) for processing customized tag-sets in a language- and platform-independent way. A standard API makes it easier to develop modules that can be re-used in different applications. DOM Level 2 provides support for XML namespaces, extending and improving the XML platform. As more sites move to XML for content delivery, DOM Level 2 emerges as a critical tool for developing dynamic Web content.

DOM Level 2 Extends the Dynamic, Device Independent Web

The DOM defines a standard API that allows authors to write programs that work without changes across tools and browsers from different vendors. But beyond this, it provides a uniform way to produce programs that work across a variety of different devices, so all may benefit from dynamically generated content..

The DOM Level 2 Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) API makes it possible for a script author to access and manipulate style information associated with contents, while preserving accessibility. DOM Level 2 also includes an Events API to provide interactivity anywhere someone uses XML - in documents, in data, or in B2B applications.

Current Implementations, Advanced Work in Progress

Key industry players bring their expertise to the W3C DOM Working Group including Arbortext, IBM, Intel, JavaSoft, Macromedia, Microsoft, Netscape, Nexgenix, Oracle, SoftQuad Software Inc., Software AG, and Sun Microsystems. Many are already providing support, as indicated in the testimonials.

Other W3C Working Groups are currently at work in extending further the DOM Level 2 platform for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) and Mathematical Markup Language (MathML). The DOM Working Group is currently at work developing DOM Level 3, the next layer of functionality for DOM.

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (MIT LCS) in the USA, the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA) in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users, and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. To date, over 470 organizations are Members of the Consortium. For more information see


Contact America and Europe --
Janet Daly, <>, +1.617.253.5884 or +1.617.253.2613
Contact Asia --
Kazuhiro Kitagawa <>, +81.466.49.1170

Testimonials for Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2

IBM | Microsoft Corporation |Netscape Communications Corporation | Nexgenix | Oracle Corporation | SoftQuad Software Inc.


IBM is delighted to see the Document Object Model Level 2 become an official W3C Recommendation. This new version includes important new features, such as Namespaces, which will enable programmers to better exploit XML for e-business applications. IBM feels it is very important to ensure that there are high quality, open source reference implementations of the DOM standard available. We have made significant contributions to the Apache Xerces parser which already supports DOM Level 2. IBM will continue to contribute to the DOM activity in the W3C as it evolves.

-- Bob Sutor, Director for e-business Standards Strategy, IBM


As the Web continues to evolve, the value of a core set of DOM features grows ever more important. Those core features provide content and application developers alike with a common programming model across a variety of languages and applications, which has been a direct contributor to the success of XML. As co-editor of the DOM Level 2 Style Specification, Microsoft has made contributions to the development of the DOM, and hopes to do so in the future.

-- David Turner, Product Manager and Technical Evangelist, XML Technologies, Microsoft


Netscape is strongly committed to supporting the W3C DOM Level 2 and other web standards because they are the foundation for next-generation web applications. The DOM Level 2 Core support for advanced XML features such as namespaces sets the stage for supporting emerging XML-based technologies. The CSS Interfaces will enable applications to dynamically reformat content from scripting languages such as JavaScript, and the event model enables the creation of web applications with user interfaces that are as rich and interactive as native applications but that run across platforms and devices. Netscape will continue to work within the W3C to define innovative standards such as the DOM Level 2 and through the open source development initiative at to support these standards in the Mozilla browser and products based upon it such as Netscape 6.

-- Jim Hamerly, Vice-President of Client Product Development, Netscape Communications Corporation


Nexgenix is delighted to contribute to the DOM development. DOM helps developers to create Web applications that take advantage of the wealth of components and data available on the Web by providing a standard interface that enables many hardware and software platforms to talk to each other smoothly.

-- Dr. Shlomit Ritz Finkelstein, Director of Research, Nexgenix, Inc.


With DOM Level 2, internet developers can now use the flexibility of XML to make web content fully interoperable across multiple platforms and multiple languages. The support of DOM Level 2 in the Oracle XML Developer's Kit for Java is essential for delivering the new generation of web sites where content has to be dynamic and exchangeable.

-- Chuck Rozwat, Executive Vice President, Server Technologies, Oracle Corporation


The DOM is an extremely important W3C Recommendation, and Level 2 adds to the basic functionality defined in Level 1. XMetaL 2.0, our award-winning XML editor, supports the Level 1 XML DOM and we have found it to be very useful in allowing the integration with other DOM-supporting products, such as repositories, databases, and B2B systems. We intend to implement DOM Level 2 functionality in our products in the future.

-- Lauren Wood, Director of Product Technology, SoftQuad Software Inc.

Related RSS feed