World Wide Web Consortium Issues DOM Level 3 As a W3C Recommendation

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DOM Level 3 Extends Foundations for XML and Web Services Applications -- 7 April 2004 -- Leading the Web to its full potential, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today released the Document Object Model Level 3 Core and Load and Save specifications as W3C Recommendations. The specifications reflect 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 3 Brings The Latest of XML to the DOM Developers

Created and developed by the W3C Document Object Model (DOM) Working Group, DOM Level 3 Core 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 2 W3C Recommendations. DOM Level 3 provides a standard set of objects for representing Extensible Markup Language (XML) documents and data, including namespace, XML Base, and XML Schema datatypes support.

DOM Level 2 was designed for HTML 4.01, XML 1.0, and Namespaces in XML. With DOM Level 3, authors can take further advantage of the XML platform. It provide support for XML 1.1 and is aligned with the XML Information Set, specification which is also used by other W3C Recommendations such as XML Schema 1.0 and SOAP 1.2.

DOM Level 3 Enhances Support of the XML Platform, Extends Web Services Applications

DOM Level 3 enhances the support for XML namespaces and schema-type information. It delivers critical functionalities for Web services applications, as well as other mainstream XML applications.

Loading a DOM implementation becomes easier with DOM Level 3, and applications can load them according to their requirements. For example, to deploy a Web service on a Web site, one needs to use a WSDL processor, as services themselves are described using WSDL. DOM Level 3 makes it easier for processors to use and manipulate WSDL descriptions through its enhanced ability to work with XML namespaces.

DOM modules now include a feature called "bootstrapping," which allows a DOM application to find and load a DOM implementation that will provide access to the DOM API. It makes it possible to request a DOM implementation for specific needs, such as XHTML, SVG, CSS, or even XML Events. This makes it easier for developers to handle systems with multiple XML-application-specific DOM implementations, such as a browser combined with an SVG plug-in. Both the browser and the plug-in may include DOM support, but for very specific languages; the browser may support HTML and/or XHTML, and the SVG plug-in may only support SVG. A DOM developer would want to be able to have access to each specific DOM implementation; bootstrapping makes that possible.

DOM Level 3 has been tuned to simplify the work of Web developers in their day-to-day tasks by adding common and useful functions, such as extracting the text content from XML documents or the ability to attach application specific information to a DOM node. This is referred to as the user data system. With a system of keys, a developer can associate information to a DOM node for future use. If a developer wants to annotate a document with non-XML information, the user data mechanism may also be used.

DOM Level 3 Loads and Saves XML Documents

Loading and saving XML documents and data are now possible in a platform- and language-neutral way with the DOM Level 3 Load and Save Recommendation. Both simple and advanced filtering mechanisms are provided for Web applications. DOM Level 3 Load and Save allows applications to move between a complete XML document, or an XML fragment, to a DOM tree. With DOM Level 3 Load and Save, it is also possible to use filtering to load a specific fragment rather than an entire document, and be able to work with only the required data fragment.

DOM Test Suites Updated to Conform to Recommendations

Developers now may also take advantage of the updated DOM Conformance Test Suites, which now include current tests for Level 1 Core, Level 2 Core, Level 2 HTML, as well as tests that conform to the new Level 3 Core, Level 3 Load and Save, and Level 3 Validation Recommendations.

DOM Level 3 Marks Successful Completion of Efforts by Industry Leaders

With the successful completion of the three DOM Level 3 specifications (Core, Load and Save, and Validation), the DOM efforts are complete. Since the inception of the DOM Activity in 1997, over 20 organizations as well as invited experts have contributed to the evolution of 10 DOM standards including AOL; Apple Computer; Arbortext; IBM; Lucent; Macromedia; Merrill Lynch; Microsoft; NIST; Novell; Object Management Group; Oracle; SoftQuad, Inc.; Software AG; Sun Microsystems; Web3D Consortium; and X-Hive Corporation.

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 Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) 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 400 organizations are Members of the Consortium. For more information see


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