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Recent questions about document traversal

From: <keshlam@us.ibm.com>
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 16:42:17 -0400 (EDT)
To: www-dom@w3.org
Message-ID: <852567EC.0071B17F.00@D51MTA03.pok.ibm.com>
There seems to be a bit of confusion about TreeWalker. Let me weigh in with a
few observations:

Neither TreeWalker nor NodeIterator are ever invalidated, in the current design.

TreeWalker is intended to have "pure current node" semantics. That is, a
TreeWalker really does have a particular current node as part of its state. If
the current node is moved, the TreeWalker is relocated with it. That's true even
if the node's new location is outside the bounds of the TreeWalker's original
root node.

The TreeWalker has no memory of past navigation; each step is taken in terms of
the current state of the tree. If you move the current node into a new parent,
then the next getParent call to the tree walker will return its new parent,
_not_ the parent the node had when you walked into it. (Unless, of course, the
new parent is rejected by the filter or the whatToShow flags, in which case the
TreeWalker will seek upward until it finds an ancestor which is not filtered out
and so can be returned as the virtual parent, or it hits the root and/or the
Document node and returns null to indicate that no parent was found.)

Hence TreeWalker shouldn't have to track modifications to the DOM, in most
implementations. As long as it knows its current node, it should be able to
calculate everything else from that.

The NodeIterator _does_ have to stay aware of alterations, primarily those which
involve removing the last-reported node from the subtree of the Iterator's root
node. We kept that requirement as lightweight as we could, consonant with
providing a reasonable "robust iterator" behavior (as defined in Gamma et al).
It should be no harder, and hopefully easier, to implement NodeIterator's
updates in response to document changes than the similar notification used to
implement "liveness" in NodeLists.

Joe Kesselman  / IBM Research
Received on Wednesday, 15 September 1999 06:30:04 UTC

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