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4. The structure of a DOM tree

An XML document, represented as a DOM tree, is a data structure made of nodes. Each node is an object that inherits from a fundamental Node class. We'll start by discussing the attributes and methods of the Node class, then proceed to discuss the different subclasses that represent elements, attributes, and the other objects in an XML document.

A DOM tree doesn't have to be a static, fixed entity. You can read a document as described above, and then modify it and write it back out. Your program can also create an entire new document; see Section 12, “Creating a document from scratch: factory methods”.