Re: [unrev-II] Seeking definition for "DOM"

From: G. Ken Holman (
Date: Thu Jan 04 2001 - 11:27:55 PST

  • Next message: John J. Deneen: "Re: [unrev-II] Is "bootstrapping" part of the problem?"

    At 01/01/04 10:44 -0800, Eugene Eric Kim wrote:
    >On Wed, 3 Jan 2001, N. C a r r o l l wrote:
    >[DOM description deleted]
    > > Is that similar to what Doug is describing as an "intermediary
    > > document"?
    > >
    >Mmm, weighty question. Short answer is yes. It's similar in that a
    >DOM-like interface could indeed be used to manipulate this "intermediary

    Perhaps ... but the implementation of this intermediary is entirely opaque
    to the user; the *only* access to the intermediary is *entirely* through
    the abstract interface.

    The abstract interface is reified as an API for each particular programming
    language (direct access) or communication technology (remote access).

    >I found the phrasing of the question revealing. The DOM is an interface
    >to a document, not the document itself, which makes this question somewhat
    >of an apple-orange comparison. However, from a design standpoint, it's
    >probably more valuable to think about the "intermediary document" as an
    >interface and perhaps a document interchange format, rather than as an
    >actual document, which is a point I think Ken was trying to make earlier.

    No, not really if I read the above literally. If I consider the
    "intermediary document" as the implementation's opaque implementation of
    the information in a document, then it isn't an interface. The interface
    will be the description of the services acting on the internal
    implementation, not the document itself. The interface will be expressed
    in terms of what information is in the document, but I feel strongly there
    should be no dictums regarding how the internal format is implemented.

    By no means is the opaque internal implementation a document interchange
    format. When the opaque implementation of a document is "exported" into a
    transparent format, then the agreed-upon document interchange format would
    be used, but we should not give any indication that an implementation is
    required to support the document interchange format internally ... it must
    have the flexibility to accept the document interchange format with any
    possible internal implementation scheme it wishes.

    I think the distinction is critically important.

    I hope this helps.

    ...................... Ken

    G. Ken Holman            
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