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The Document Object Model is an API for HTML and XML documents. It provides a structural representation of the document, enabling the developer to modify its content and visual presentation. Essentially, it connects web pages to scripts or programming languages.

All of the properties, methods, and events available to the web developer for manipulating and creating web pages are organized into objects (e.g., the document object that represents the document itself, the table object that represents a HTML table element, and so forth). Those objects are accessible via scripting languages in most recent web browsers.

The DOM is most often used in conjunction with JavaScript. However, the DOM was designed to be independent of any particular programming language, making the structural representation of the document available from a single, consistent API. Though we focus on JavaScript throughout this site, implementations of the DOM can be built for any language.

The World Wide Web Consortium establishes a standard for the DOM, called the W3C DOM. It should, now that the most important browsers correctly implement it, enable powerful cross-browser applications.

Why is the DOM important?

"Dynamic HTML" (DHTML) is a term used by some vendors to describe the combination of HTML, style sheets and scripts that allows documents to be animated. The W3C DOM Working Group is working hard to make sure interoperable and language-neutral solutions are agreed upon (see also the W3C FAQ). As Mozilla claims the title of "Web Application Platform", support for the DOM is one of the most requested features, and a necessary one if Mozilla wants to be a viable alternative to the other browsers.

Even more important is the fact that the user interface of Mozilla (also Firefox and Thunderbird) is built using XUL, using the DOM to manipulate its own UI.

More about the DOM

DOM 中的空白字元
DOM 裡的空白字元會讓處理節點結構時增加不少麻煩。Mozilla 相關軟體中,原始文件裡所有空白字元都會在 DOM 中出現(不包括標籤內含的空白字元)。這樣的處理方式有其必要,一方面編輯器中可逕行排列文字、二方面 CSS 裡的 white-space: pre 也才能發揮作用。 如此一來就表示:
fullscreen API 提供一個容易的方式讓網頁內容可以使用全螢幕呈現. 這篇文章介紹使用 fullscreen API 的方法.


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