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Node Collections

One of the most important interfaces of the DOM Core Specification is the NodeList interface, which is used to handle ordered lists of Nodes such as the children of a Node, or the elements returned by the getElementsByTagName method of the Element interface. Similarly, there is also a NamedNodeMap interface, used to handle unordered sets of nodes referenced by their name attribute, such as the attributes of an Element. One of their main characteristics is that they are ``live'' structures, that is, changes to the underlying document structure are automatically reflected in all relevant NodeList and NamedNodeMap objects. For example, if a DOM user gets a NodeList object containing the children of an Element, and he subsequently adds more children to that element, then the added children are silently added to the NodeList, without further action requested from the user side. Of course, changes to a node in the tree are reflected in all references to that Node in NodeList and NamedNodeMap objects.


Paolo Casarini 2001-04-01