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Summary

With JavaScript and the DOM, you can directly manipulate the contents of an XML document. This chapter presented a very brief introduction to XML and some examples of how Internet Explorer and Mozilla implement JavaScript-XML interaction. Unfortunately, we saw once again that the two browsers do things in very different ways. Yet even if that were not the case, the actual value of manipulating XML documents client-side has really yet to be tapped by most developers. Some may question the usefulness of doing this because of the major bugs and the problems with down-level browser support for client-side XML manipulation. Because of such problems, at the time of this edition’s writing, in most cases XML documents are being transformed server-side first before delivery to the browser. Hopefully, in the future, direct viewing and manipulation of XML documents will certainly become more prevalent whether implemented using proprietary features like Microsoft’s XML data islands, loading of XML files, or via direct use of XML by the browser. However, for now, given the emerging standards and somewhat volatile mixture of markup, style, and scripting, JavaScript developers might first want to fully master the DOM as it relates to (X)HTML before proceeding to interact with XML. In doing so, their experience should serve them well since the core concepts are similar regardless of the markup language in use.


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