Chapter 6The Document Object Model

What is the DOM?

The Document Object Model (DOM) is an API for manipulating HTML and XML documents. It’s a tree hierarchy of objects representing a document, and facilitates scripting by exposing methods and properties. Though the DOM is quite powerful today, and large parts of its specification are well-supported across all major browsers, this wasn’t always the case.

At first there was little uniformity, let alone a specification. Back in the bad old days of the Browser Wars, when Netscape and Microsoft were vying for supremacy over the Web, one-upmanship was the name of the game. This lead to conflicting implementations, with each manufacturer introducing non-standard features into its own product. As developers ...

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