This changed with the release of the W3C’s recommended Document Object Model (DOM). From the W3C comes this description:
The Document Object Model is a platform- and language-neutral interface that will allow programs and scripts to dynamically access and update the content, structure, and style of documents. The document can be further processed, and the results of that processing can be incorporated back into the presented page.
The first release of the DOM was DOM Level 1, issued as a recommendation in 1998. This release helped define the infrastructure for the DOM—the schema and Application Programming Interface (API) that future versions of the DOM could use as a base of functionality. It also helped establish a core component of each recommendation that is required for ...