The DOM which stands for Document Object Module is a way of representing different document formats and application program interfaces on a web page. It was developed back during the 1990’s browser wars that went on between the Microsoft Internet Explorer and the Netscape Navigator Browsers. The most common of the battles during this war was that of JavaScipt and Jscript; both built on the same premise but in slightly different manners.
These DOM level 0 scripting languages were very limited and only allowed interaction with forms, images and links. Of course it was this interactivity with images that created the first image roll-overs allowing web developers to finally create a website that was something other than just plain text.
It was not until the1994 standardisation of the document object module by the World Wide Web Consortium that cross browser compatibility would start to come into play. This brought the two together in an attempt to settle the war once and for all. They had requested that each developer create a standard for their DOMs together and what resulted was the ECMAScript.
Finally by 1998, DOM Level 1 was finally standardised by the W3C which happened to coincide with the shipment of IE 5. Unfortunately there was very limited support for the DOM level 1 commands. Furthermore, many people were still using the older versions of the browsers to access the web which made it even harder for cross-browser compatibility to occur.
By 2000 though, DOM level 2 was introduced and along with it the get ElementById function. This function was basically an added support for the W3C’s pet projects of CSS and XML. Furthermore, the most currently released version is DOM level 3 which was released back in 2004 adding keyboard event handlers to the languages.
Original Authors: Nick
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 09/02/2009