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Re: Should Document.cloneNode() work in Level 1?

From: Stephen R. Savitzky <steve@crc.ricoh.com>
Date: 09 Sep 1998 11:22:41 -0700
To: Ray Whitmer <ray@imall.com>
Cc: www-dom@w3.org
Message-ID: <qcsoi187ta.fsf@gelion.crc.ricoh.com>
Ray Whitmer <ray@imall.com> writes:

> Don Park wrote:
> > >newDoc.createCopy(node, false); // for a shallow copy
> > >newDoc.createCopy(node, true); // for a deep copy
> >
> > I have no problem with this proposal particularly because it shifts the
> > responsibility of copying to the destination document.  It feels right.
> I would prefer a method at the doc level, but one which has the option of
> either cloning if the document is incompatible or transforming it if the
> documents are compatible.  Only the retured node and not the original
> would be usable after the operation.
> I would call this transferNode(node) // always a deep transfer.

This would be a totally different operation.  It _would_ be useful,
however, since you could use it to relocate a node without having to worry
about whether you're moving it between documents.

Actually what I would find more useful is the flip-side of this: copy the
node if it is type-incompatible or already part of an existing complete
document, but simply transfer it if it belongs to a DocumentFragment.

The motivation for this is that sometimes you are constructing a document
out of nodes that result from a traversal of an existing document (which you
don't want to modify), but sometimes you are creating nodes on the fly.
It's desirable not to have to know the difference.

> I didn't hear opinions whether document.cloneNode(deep) should clone the
> document itself or raise an exception.  This is quite different from both
> cloneNode or transferNode on a child, because it creates a new
> ownerDocument rather than confining to or transferring between existing
> ownerDocument's.  I think we need something like cloneNode to work at the
> document level.

I agree, but it's probably necessary to make it clear that that's what's
happening.  Note that with document.createCopy it is possible to specify
explicitly what deep-copying a document means (shallow-copy the Document
node, then recursively createCopy all of the children) 

 Stephen R. Savitzky   Chief Software Scientist, Ricoh Silicon Valley, Inc., 
<steve@rsv.ricoh.com>                            California Research Center
 voice: 650.496.5710   fax: 650.854.8740    URL: http://rsv.ricoh.com/~steve/
  home: <steve@starport.com> URL: http://www.starport.com/people/steve/
Received on Wednesday, 9 September 1998 14:16:47 UTC

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