The Document Object Model (DOM) is a programming interface for web documents that represents the structure and content of an HTML, XML, or XHTML document as a tree-like structure. It provides a way for programs and scripting languages to interact with the elements, attributes, and text within a document.
The DOM treats an HTML or XML document as a structured collection of objects, where each element, attribute, and text node is represented as a distinct object with properties and methods. The tree-like structure of the DOM represents the hierarchical relationships between these objects.
With the DOM, developers can manipulate and traverse the document’s structure, access and modify its content, and dynamically update the display or behavior of web pages based on user interactions or application logic.
Key concepts related to the DOM include:
- Nodes: Each element, attribute, and text within a document is represented as a node in the DOM tree. Nodes can be accessed, created, modified, or deleted using DOM methods and properties.
- Elements: Elements represent the HTML or XML tags in a document and are the most commonly manipulated nodes in the DOM. Elements can have attributes, child nodes, and can be styled or manipulated using DOM methods.
- Attributes: Attributes are properties associated with elements that provide additional information or configuration. Examples of attributes include “id,” “class,” “src,” and “href.”
- Traversing and Manipulating: The DOM provides methods to navigate the tree structure, allowing developers to access parent nodes, child nodes, sibling nodes, and perform operations like adding, removing, or modifying nodes and attributes.
- Event Handling: The DOM also enables event handling, allowing scripts to respond to user actions or system events such as mouse clicks, keyboard input, or page load. Event listeners can be attached to specific elements to execute code when events occur.