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Created: April 08, 2004.
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DOM Level 3 Specifications Published as W3C Recommendations.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has announced the publication of the DOM Level 3 specifications as W3C Recommendations, including Document Object Model (DOM) Level 3 Core Specification and Document Object Model (DOM) Level 3 Load and Save Specification.

These 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."

"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."

Bibliographic References

From the Announcement

Today, W3C's work on the development of standard APIs for HTML and XML documents is complete with the publication of the Document Object Model Level 3 Core and Load & Save Recommendations. DOM Level 3 makes it possible for more sophisticated and powerful combinations of scripting languages and XML documents and data, including the critical Web services applications space. [Janet Daly, W3C Head of Communications]

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.

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.

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.

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