World Wide Web Consortium Issues DOM Level 2 HTML as a W3C Recommendation

Author(s) and publish date


New Technology Delivers Standard API and Dynamism to HTML and XHTML 1.0

Testimonials -- 9 January 2003 -- Leading the Web to its full potential, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today published the Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2 HTML as a W3C Recommendation. The specification reflects cross-industry agreement on a standard API (Application Programming Interface) for manipulating HTML and XHTML 1.0 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 HTML Makes Scripting Easier, More Reliable

"Dynamic HTML" is a term used by some vendors to describe the combination of HTML, style sheets and scripts that allows documents to be animated. The Document Object Model - abbreviated as DOM - is a platform- and language-neutral interface that will allow programs and scripts to dynamically access and update the content, structure and style of documents.

Over the years, W3C has developed a uniform way in which the object model of HTML documents should be exposed to scripts. The W3C DOM Working Group makes sure interoperable and scripting-language neutral solutions are agreed upon, beginning with a suite of initial work on DOM Level 1, in 1998. The majority of DOM Level 2 was completed in 2000, but DOM Level 2 Model for HTML and XHTML 1.0 documents required further work. With the publication of the W3C DOM Level 2 Recommendation, that work is now complete.

DOM Level 2 HTML provides the interface that gives programs and scripts a standard way to navigate, transform and update both HTML and XHTML 1.0 documents. Wherever you use HTML or XHTML 1.0, you can use the DOM to manipulate it.

DOM Level 2 HTML Has Vigorous Implementation Experience and Test Suites

To ensure the usefulness and viability of W3C specifications, W3C Working Groups are required to provide both implementation reports and test suites which can be used by developers to begin to test their own software. In the case of DOM Level 2 HTML, the Working Group produced a test suite with well over 500 individual tests, launched jointly with the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which are free for any developer to use.

The DOM Test Suites, which include significant developer community contributions, give browser authors the opportunity to test their software against the developing set of tests and make adjustments to code. More changes to the test suites are forthcoming, now that the DOM Level 2 HTML Recommendation is complete.

Industry and Developer Support Key to DOM Level 2 HTML

Key industry players currently bringing their expertise to the W3C DOM Working Group include Arbortext, Corel, IBM, Netscape, Oracle, and X-Hive. W3C Members and other implementors are already providing support for DOM Level 2 HTML, as indicated in the testimonials. 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 European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered 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, nearly 450 organizations are Members of the Consortium. For more information see


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Testimonials for DOM Level 2 HTML

ATSC | Corel Corporation | Konqueror/KDE | Netscape/AOL | NIST


The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) is an international, non-profit organization developing voluntary standards for digital television. We are very pleased to see the successful finalization of the DOM Level 2 HTML Specification as a W3C Recommendation. This specification completes the set of functionality envisioned for DOM Level 2, providing valuable features to support XHTML based document and user interface manipulations. The ATSC has normatively adopted a core subset of the DOM Level 2 HTML Specification for use in our DASE (DTV Application Software Environment) Standard, and we expect to see significant implementation activity and deployment of this technology in the terrestrial, cable, and satellite television markets. The ATSC was pleased to make a number of contributions to this work, and we will continue to contribute as this technology is deployed and evolves.

-- Mark S. Richer, President, Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC)

Corel Corporation

The DOM Level 2 HTML recommendation is a significant event in the development of key specifications for interacting with XML information. As members of the working group, we are pleased to have played a role in authoring this specification, enabling common approaches that applications can use to work with XML content. Standards such as DOM are highly beneficial and complementary to Corel's philosophy -- promoting open standards and XML as the ideal format for easily creating, re-using and distributing content.

-- Dr. Bruce Sharpe, Executive Vice President of XML Content Solutions, Corel Corporation


The Konqueror team is delighted to see DOM Level 2 HTML evolving to a standard. We believe in the need for such standards and have always tried to support them. For our upcoming release of Konqueror, which will be shipping with KDE 3.1, our goal is to be 100% compliant with DOM Level 2 HTML.

-- Lars Knoll, Konqueror Development Team, Konqueror


The W3C DOM HTML Level 2 standard represents important advances including better description of existing browsers, support for XHTML, and a much higher-quality standard than has been produced before thanks to a compliance test suite. Netscape is strongly committed to supporting this new level of standard along with other web standards because they are the foundation for interactive web content. We will continue to work within the W3C to define fundamental web standards such as the DOM Level 2 HTML and to support these standards in the Mozilla browser as well as in products based upon it such as the recent Netscape 7 browser.

-- Laura Yecies, Vice-President of Client Product Development at Netscape


NIST is very pleased to see the release of DOM Level 2 HTML. As the lead architect of the DOM Level 2 HTML test suite, we're proud of the fact that, not only is this recommendation being implemented by browser developers, but it is being implemented correctly. As a result of using the test suite, implementers are discovering their errors at an early stage, and releasing subsequent versions, that implement these features correctly. Consequently, the public gets to use higher quality software.

-- Mark Skall, Chief of the Software Diagnostics and Conformance Testing Division at NIST

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