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XML IV. The Document Object Model The Document Object model is a hierarchical structure of an XML document. It provides a means for accessing, and manipulating.

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Presentation on theme: "XML IV. The Document Object Model The Document Object model is a hierarchical structure of an XML document. It provides a means for accessing, and manipulating."— Presentation transcript:


2 The Document Object Model The Document Object model is a hierarchical structure of an XML document. It provides a means for accessing, and manipulating XML documents. It allows access to all the parts of XML documents, i.e. the document, its root element, child elements, attributes, etc. The DOM also provides methods that allow manipulations, additions, and deletions to the original document. Without DOM, XML would be nothing more than a storage system for data. Generally, DOMs can follow one of three patterns: Linear, Tree, or Object Models.

3 Linear Models: Simplest model, detailing the document in a linear fashion. Illustration: Consider if I said Go to page 100 of a book, go to line 10, and read the 1 st word. The problem with this is that if I altered the earlier section of the book, it would invalidate all previous references to the latter sections of the book. Tree Models Describes the document in terms of a tree, and each item on the tree is referred to as a node. Terminal items are regarded as leaves. It describes a root element, and child nodes. A parent node refers to an immediately preceding node, and sibling nodes have the same parent

4 An advantage of the tree is that any part of the document can be reached by walking the tree Tree nodes are not as sensitive to change like the linear model, but are still somewhat sensitive in the sense that if a complete node was removed, the relationship between remaining nodes might be altered. Using the book analogy, I would perhaps say Go to the 1 st item of the 2 nd paragraph of the 4 th chapter. Object Models Least sensitive to change. Each section of a document has a name property, hence even when the document changes, the model would still be valid. The W3C DOM is a combination of the Tree and Object models.

5 Example of a Document tree: Simple XML Document: James Blogg 02089443243 Document tree: Document Element VersionCommentElement Text

6 The W3C DOM The specification for the W3C DOM can be found at It implements the language of the OMG IDL (Object Management Group Interface Definition Language). OMG IDL is a language that allows applications to communicate with each other even if they are written in different programming languages. Under the IDL, objects expose various interfaces. Each interface has a series of attributes that describe the properties of the object behind that interface. The object can also be operated on by methods that activate functions behind the interface. These methods will return some kind of value to the requesting application. Together, the attributes and methods constitute the API of that object.

7 DOM Objects An object that supports DOM must be capable of loading an XML document into itself. It must also be able to expose all the interfaces with the appropriate attributes and methods, as laid out in the DOM specification. DOM Interfaces DOMImplementation: This is a query to the object itself, and is independent of the document loaded into it. Document: This interface provides information about the document that has been loaded into the object. Node: Everything in a document can be considered as a node of the document, i.e. elements, comments, etc. It contains several attributes and methods for manipulating any kind of node.

8 NodeList: This is an ordered collection of nodes that can be accessed using an index. NamedNodeMap: Collection of nodes that can be accessed by name. CharacterData: Deals with the text of the document. Attr: Deals with the XML attributes of a node. However, it is not represented in the tree structure as it is considered to be a property of its element. Element: Most nodes of an XML document will be elements. The Element interface has properties and methods for dealing with elements and their XML attributes Text: Deals with the text content of an element CDATASection, Notation, Entity, EntityReference and Processing instructions interfaces all deal with their namesake nodes.

9 Before considering DOM interfaces in detail, Ill introduce the concept of XML Data Source Objects (DSO), as well use this in the examples on DOM interfaces. Consider the following HTML file: XML DSO........... var MyDoc=isle; var rootEl=MyDoc.documentElement; document.write(rootEl.nodeName);

10 The example demonstrates the creation of an XML DSO or data island within an HTML file, with the use of the xml element. Note that the xml element is a proprietary element of IE5, and will not work on other browsers. The same xml file can be referenced with the src attribute of the xml element, i.e. XML DSO var MyDoc=isle; var rootEl=MyDoc.documentElement; document.write(rootEl.nodeName);

11 The Document Interface Returns information about the document. It has the following read-only attributes: doctype: Returns the <!DOCTYPE information in the document, with the exception of information on the DTD. implementation: Returns the implementation node. Has a boolean method called hasFeatures( ) which takes 2 parameters: type of document (HTML or XML) and version. documentElement: Most important attribute of the Document interface because it returns the root element of the document. Its an ideal starting point if youre walking the tree to access a node. Document Interface Methods createElement( ) createDocumentFragment( ) createTextNode( )

12 createComment( ) createCDATASection( ) createProcessingInstruction( ) createAttribute( ) createEntityReference( ) getElementsByTagName( ): Gets a list of all the elements of that name, passed to it as an argument. It returns a NodeList object. Widely used in search routines. Accessing Nodes in DOM There are 2 ways of accessing nodes in DOM. Walking the Tree: Start anywhere in the DOM, and use methods of the DOM node interface such as parentNode( ), firstChild, nextSibling and previousSibling. Accessing nodes by name: This approach uses the getElementsByTagName( ) method to get a list of elements of that name.

13 Example: XML Example Tony Benn 210 Temple road London NW9 0RT 02082049565 Mary Blair 20 St James road London SE4 0RT 02072049565

14 var myDoc=isle; var contactList=myDoc.getElementsByTagName('contact'); for (var i=0; i<contactList.length; i++) {document.write(contactList.item(i).firstChild.firstChild.nodeValue); document.write(' '); document.write(contactList.item(i).firstChild.nextSibling.firstChild.nodeValue); document.write(' '); }

15 The above listing would output: Tony Benn 210 Temple road Mary Blair 20 St James road The Document Fragment Interface An utility interface that creates a subsection of the document, which can subsequently be inserted into the main document. Particularly useful when youre creating a lot of new elements. If you created the new elements in the main document directly, the node list would have to be updated each time. With a DFI, the node list only has to be updated once.

16 The Node Interface This is the key interface of DOM, as everything in a document can be considered as a node. Has the following read-only attributes: nodeName: E.g the name of the tag nodeValue: Null for elements, Content of a text node nodeType: Element, Attr, Text, etc parentNode childNodes: Returns a node list of all child nodes of the element firstChild lastChild previousSibling nextSibling attributes: Works only with element type nodes. Returns a NamedNodeMap of all the attributes. ownerDocument

17 Methods of the Node Interface All except the hasChildNodes( ) and cloneNode( ) take one or more node objects as parameters. Prior to using the insertBefore( ), replaceChild( ), or appendChild( ) methods, you would have created a new node with one of the document methods or by the cloneNode( ) method. The insertBefore method( ): Inserts the new child node before the reference node. var dummy; dummy=node_object.insertBefore(new_node, reference_node) The replaceChild method( ): Replaces the reference node, and returns the replaced node.

18 The appendChild( ) method: Appends the new node to the end of the reference node The hasChildNodes method( ): This is a Boolean that checks whether a node has child nodes The cloneNode method( ): Makes a duplicate of the cloned node. Example of using node methods: var dummy; var myDoc=isle; var new_element=myDoc.createElement('email'); var rootEl=myDoc.documentElement; dummy=rootEl.appendChild(new_element); alert('I have just created a new element called '+dummy.nodeName);

19 The CharacterData Interface Contains attributes and methods for accessing and editing strings in nodes that take a string value, e.g text and comment nodes. Contains the following attributes: The data attribute: Returns all the text in the node as a Unicode string. Length: Returns the number of characters in the string. It has the following methods (all self-explanatory): subStringData( ) method appendData( ) method insertData( ) method deleteData( ) method replaceData( ) method

20 The Element Interface Most of the nodes in a document belong to the element or text interfaces. However, the node interface deals with most of the operations on elements, and the CharacterData interface handles most operations on text nodes. The majority of the element interface attributes and methods are therefore concerned with managing its XML attributes properties. Methods: getAttribute( ): Retrieves an attributes value by name setAttribute( ): Creates an attribute, and sets its value at once removeAttribute( ) getAttributeNode( ): When passed a name, it retrieves the Attr node.

21 setAttributeNode( ) removeAttributeNode( ) getElementsByTagName( ): Similar to when used in the document interface. The Attr Interface Represents an attribute of an element object. They are not considered as part of the document tree, but as properties of their elements. As such, they are accessed by methods of the element interface Has the following attributes: name: The name of the attribute value: Its value specified: A Boolean value that returns true if the attribute has been assigned a value, either in the original document, or by code.

22 References: XML Unleashed, Morrison, et al. Chapter 15 Internet & World wide web How to Program, Dietel, Dietel and Nieto. Chapter 20.

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