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In the DOM, everything in an XML document is a node.

DOM Nodes

According to the DOM, everything in an XML document is a node.

The DOM says:

  • The entire document is a document node
  • Every XML element is an element node
  • The text in the XML elements are text nodes
  • Every attribute is an attribute node
  • Comments are comment nodes

DOM Example

Look at the following XML file (books.xml):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<book category="cooking">
  <title lang="en">Everyday Italian</title> 
  <author>Giada De Laurentiis</author> 
<book category="children">
  <title lang="en">Harry Potter</title> 
  <author>J K. Rowling</author> 
<book category="web">
  <title lang="en">XQuery Kick Start</title> 
  <author>James McGovern</author> 
  <author>Per Bothner</author> 
  <author>Kurt Cagle</author> 
  <author>James Linn</author> 
  <author>Vaidyanathan Nagarajan</author> 
<book category="web" cover="paperback">
  <title lang="en">Learning XML</title> 
  <author>Erik T. Ray</author> 

The root node in the XML above is named <bookstore>. All other nodes in the document are contained within <bookstore>.

The root node <bookstore> holds four <book> nodes.

The first <book> node holds four nodes: <title>, <author>, <year>, and <price>, which contains one text node each, "Everyday Italian", "Giada De Laurentiis", "2005", and "30.00".

Text is Always Stored in Text Nodes

A common error in DOM processing is to expect an element node to contain text.

However, the text of an element node is stored in a text node.

In this example: <year>2005</year>, the element node <year>, holds a text node with the value "2005".

"2005" is not the value of the <year> element!

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