What is DOM data structure? The Document Object Model

Front end developmentProgramming

Redacción Tokio | 23/01/2023

Do you like programming? Do you like it to the point of dedicating your professional career to it? As you know very well, the field of programming is very wide and has many different specialties. Today, we are going to go through everything you need to know about the DOM data structure model (Document Object Model).

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What is the DOM model?

The Document Object Model (whose acronym is DOM ) is an interface for app programming for HTML and XML documents. The DOM data structure model defines the logical structure of documents and how they are accessed and manipulated. With the Document Object Model, programmers can build documents, navigate their structure, and add, modify, or remove elements and content.


 Did you know…?

Anything found in an HTML or XML document can be accessed, modified, removed, or added using the Document Object Model, with only a few exceptions.

One of the most important goals of the DOM model is to provide a standard programming interface that can be used in different environments and applications. Also, it’s also a very important fact that the DOM model can be used as part of any programming language, can be implemented in any computing environment, and does not require linking object libraries.

It can be said that the DOM data structure model is a programming API for documents that is capable of blending in with the structure of the document it models.


Document Object Model or DOM structure

Documents are modeled using objects, so that the model understands the structure of a document and the behavior of a document and the objects of which it is composed. Thus, the DOM model is able to identify:

  • Interfaces and objects used to represent and manipulate a document
  • The semantics of these interfaces and objects, including their behavior and attributes
  • The relationships and collaborations between these interfaces and objects

The DOM data structure model is made up of two parts, the DOM Core and the HTML DOM. The DOM core represents the functionality used for XML documents, and also serves as the foundation for the HTML DOM. Furthermore, its function is to implement either the HTML DOM or the extended interfaces (XML), or both, all with defined semantics.


 Did you know…?


The DOM model emerged as a specification to enable portability between web browsers for Java programs and JavaScript scripts.


DOM data structure

Within the world of web programming, the DOM model specifies the interfaces that can be used to manipulate XML or HTML documents. In the future, it is anticipated that the plan for the specification of the DOM model will be to provide:

  • A structure model for both the inner subset and the outer subset.
  • Validation for sketches.
  • Control to represent documents by means of style sheets.
  • Access control.
  • Security of process threads or threads.
  • Events.

In the DOM model, documents present a structure that is similar to that of a tree, creating a hierarchical structure in which several secondary objects can be dependent of a main object. This is clearly seen in the structure of the HTML page, which consists of nested tags.

The DOM data structure is made of nodes, which are related to each other in a hierarchical structure, and each node has a parent node on which it depends, which is the parent node. Furthermore, each node can have 0, 1, or several dependent nodes, called child nodes.

The nodes that are at the same level and all depend on the same parent node, they are called sister nodes. In this curious node family, the entire DOM tree depends on a main node from which all are generated, the Document node.


Types of nodes

  • Document: the root node from which all others derive.
  • Element: each of the HTML tags. It is the only node that can contain attributes and from which other nodes can derive.
  • Attr: each attribute of a tag generates an Attr node, which also contains its value (as a property). This is a child of the element node (label) that contains it.
  • Text: Contains the text enclosed by an HTML tag (child of the Element node).
  • Comment: the comments included in the HTML page also generate their nodes.

There are also other types of nodes that are used in the XML language, but when used as part of HTML, they are usually well-defined, fixed elements. They are the following:

  • CDatasection: a node that can contain escape characters that are typed in a normal manner.
  • Document Type: a declaration or Doctype label.
  • DocumentFragment: a fragment or portion of the DOM tree that allows Javascript to select a portion of the document.
  • Entity: an escape character or Entity in XML.
  • EntityReference: a reference to an XML entity.
  • Processing Instruction
  • Notation: these are similar to “comment”, but can be displayed on the screen in XML.

As you have been able to verify, the DOM data structure or document object model is used by most programming languages (fundamentally XML and HTML) as a reference for syntax organization. If you also want to work with the DOM model, know its ins and outs, understand it, and ‘speak’ its language, you will obviously need specific training that certifies you are a professional in web programming.


Become a specialist in DOM data structure!

We will help you become an expert in perfectly handling the hierarchical structure of the DOM data structure model, where, as you already know, there are several objects and some depend on others. You will depend solely on your own talent, effort, and preparation, and you will have access to multiple job opportunities. Want to prove this first hand?

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