This is a snapshot of an early working draft and has therefore been superseded by the HTML standard.

This document will not be further updated.

HTML 5

Call For Comments — 27 October 2007

2.4. DOM tree accessors

The html element of a document is the document's root element, if there is one and it's an html element, or null otherwise.

The head element of a document is the first head element that is a child of the html element, if there is one, or null otherwise.

The title element of a document is the first title element that is a child of the head element, if there is one, or null otherwise.

The title attribute must, on getting, run the following algorithm:

  1. If the root element is an svg element in the "http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" namespace, and the user agent supports SVG, then the getter must return the value that would have been returned by the DOM attribute of the same name on the SVGDocument interface.

  2. Otherwise, it must return a concatenation of the data of all the child text nodes of the title element, in tree order, or the empty string if the title element is null.

On setting, the following algorithm must be run:

  1. If the root element is an svg element in the "http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" namespace, and the user agent supports SVG, then the setter must defer to the setter for the DOM attribute of the same name on the SVGDocument interface. Stop the algorithm here.

  2. If the head element is null, then the attribute must do nothing. Stop the algorithm here.
  3. If the title element is null, then a new title element must be created and appended to the head element.
  4. The children of the title element (if any) must all be removed.
  5. A single Text node whose data is the new value being assigned must be appended to the title element.

The title attribute on the HTMLDocument interface should shadow the attribute of the same name on the SVGDocument interface when the user agent supports both HTML and SVG.

The body element of a document is the first child of the html element that is either a body element or a frameset element. If there is no such element, it is null. If the body element is null, then when the specification requires that events be fired at "the body element", they must instead be fired at the Document object.

The body attribute, on getting, must return the body element of the document (either a body element, a frameset element, or null). On setting, the following algorithm must be run:

  1. If the new value is not a body or frameset element, then raise a HIERARCHY_REQUEST_ERR exception and abort these steps.
  2. Otherwise, if the new value is the same as the body element, do nothing. Abort these steps.
  3. Otherwise, if the body element is not null, then replace that element with the new value in the DOM, as if the root element's replaceChild() method had been called with the new value and the incumbent body element as its two arguments respectively, then abort these steps.
  4. Otherwise, the the body element is null. Append the new value to the root element.

The images attribute must return an HTMLCollection rooted at the Document node, whose filter matches only img elements.

The links attribute must return an HTMLCollection rooted at the Document node, whose filter matches only a elements with href attributes and area elements with href attributes.

The forms attribute must return an HTMLCollection rooted at the Document node, whose filter matches only form elements.

The anchors attribute must return an HTMLCollection rooted at the Document node, whose filter matches only a elements with name attributes.

The getElementsByName(name) method a string name, and must return a live NodeList containing all the a, applet, button, form, iframe, img, input, map, meta, object, select, and textarea elements in that document that have a name attribute whose value is equal to the name argument.

The getElementsByClassName(classNames) method takes a string that contains an unordered set of space-separated tokens representing classes. When called, the method must return a live NodeList object containing all the elements in the document that have all the classes specified in that argument, having obtained the classes by splitting a string on spaces. If there are no tokens specified in the argument, then the method must return an empty NodeList.

The getElementsByClassName() method on the HTMLElement interface must return a live NodeList with the nodes that the HTMLDocument getElementsByClassName() method would return when passed the same argument(s), excluding any elements that are not descendants of the HTMLElement object on which the method was invoked.

HTML, SVG, and MathML elements define which classes they are in by having an attribute in the per-element partition with the name class containing a space-separated list of classes to which the element belongs. Other specifications may also allow elements in their namespaces to be labelled as being in specific classes. UAs must not assume that all attributes of the name class for elements in any namespace work in this way, however, and must not assume that such attributes, when used as global attributes, label other elements as being in specific classes.

Given the following XHTML fragment:

<div id="example">
 <p id="p1" class="aaa bbb"/>
 <p id="p2" class="aaa ccc"/>
 <p id="p3" class="bbb ccc"/>
</div>

A call to document.getElementById('example').getElementsByClassName('aaa') would return a NodeList with the two paragraphs p1 and p2 in it.

A call to getElementsByClassName('ccc bbb') would only return one node, however, namely p3. A call to document.getElementById('example').getElementsByClassName('bbb  ccc ') would return the same thing.

A call to getElementsByClassName('aaa,bbb') would return no nodes; none of the elements above are in the "aaa,bbb" class.

The dir attribute on the HTMLDocument interface is defined along with the dir content attribute.