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The XML Document Object Model (XML DOM) defines a standard way for accessing and manipulating XML documents.

What You Should Already Know

Before you continue you should have a basic understanding of the following:

If you want to study these subjects first, find the tutorials on our Home page.

What is the DOM?

"The W3C Document Object Model (DOM) is a platform and language neutral interface that allows programs and scripts to dynamically access and update the content, structure, and style of a document."

The W3C DOM provides a standard set of objects for representing HTML and XML documents, and a standard interface for accessing and manipulating them.

The DOM is separated into different parts (Core, XML, and HTML) and different levels (DOM Level 1/2/3):

  • Core DOM - defines a standard set of objects for any structured document
  • XML DOM - defines a standard set of objects for XML documents
  • HTML DOM - defines a standard set of objects for HTML documents

You can read more about the W3C DOM specifications / levels in our W3C tutorial.

What is the XML DOM?

  • The XML DOM is the Document Object Model for XML
  • The XML DOM is platform and language independent
  • The XML DOM defines a standard set of objects for XML, and a standard way to access and manipulate XML documents
  • The XML DOM is a W3C standard.

The XML DOM views XML documents as a tree structure of elements embedded within other elements. All elements, their containing text and their attributes, can be accessed through the DOM tree. Their contents can be modified or deleted, and new elements can be created by the DOM. The elements, their text, and their attributes are all known as nodes.

The Document Object Model (DOM) is a cross-platform and language-independent convention for representing and interacting with objects in HTML, XHTML and XML documents. Aspects of the DOM (such as its "Elements") may be addressed and manipulated within the syntax of the programming language in use. The public interface of a DOM is specified in its application programming interface (API).

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