A Dive in W3C DOM Compatibility

Web development is a delicate and complex discipline, and requires an in-depth knowledge of the many architectures that exist today. The basics of these architectures — DOM Core, HTML, CSS and Events — are contained into the W3C DOM specifications. The DOM, which stands for Document Object Model, is the most essential concept in web design and development: it’s the model that describes how all elements in a HTML page (like input fields, images, paragraphs, etc.) are related to the topmost structure — the document itself.

Getting to know the various parts of the DOM isn’t everything. It’s also vital that the web professional has a complete overview of the way this model is implemented by the various browsers, which are not homogeneously compliant with the standard guidelines. Hence the need for the W3C DOM Compatibility Tables created by Peter-Paul Koch, a well-known freelance web developer and JavaScript guru from Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Peter-Paul has established 6 compatibility tables that examine how the various browsers deal with the various aspects of the DOM:

  • Core defines how to access, read and manipulate an XML document
  • HTML discusses about HTML tag manipulation
  • CSS reviews stylesheet manipulation and control via DHTML or DOM scripting
  • Events examines how the various browsers implement events support
  • Event handling focuses on how events are being handled
  • CSS Object Model View talks about W3C View Specifications

The reviewed browsers are Internet Explorer (5.5 to 8 b1), Firefox (2 and 3 b5), Safari (3 and 3.1 Win), Opera (9.26 and 9.5b) and Konqueror (3.5.7). Each of the tables dives into the depths of the various browsers to offer one of the most complete synthesis ever made. This is a definitive must-read if you ever wanted to write clean and effective code for the web.

» W3C Core
» HTML
» CSS
» Events
» Events handling
» CSS Object Model View


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