Package net.sf.saxon.dom

This package provides glue classes that enable Saxon to process a source document supplied as a DOM tree in the form of a DOMSource object; it also provides classes that present a DOM view of Saxon's native tree structures.

The native Saxon tree structures (the linked tree and tiny tree) do not implement DOM interfaces directly. However, Saxon supports the DOM at two levels:

  • The input to a transformation or query may be supplied in the form of a DOMSource (which contains a DOM document). Saxon is capable of either performing the query or transformation on the DOM in situ, by wrapping the DOM nodes in a layer that make them appear to be Saxon nodes, or of converting the DOM to Saxon's native tree implementation.

  • It is possible for a transformation or query to call extension functions that use DOM interfaces to access a Saxon tree. If the Saxon tree is in fact a wrapper around the DOM, then extension functions will be presented with the underlying DOM nodes. In other cases, Saxon adds a wrapper to the native Saxon nodes to make them implement the DOM interfaces.

    Note that Saxon's tree structures are immutable. Updating interfaces in the DOM API are therefore not supported.

The classes net.sf.saxon.dom.NodeWrapper and DocumentWrapper implement the Saxon interface NodeInfo on top of an underlying DOM Node or Document object. This enables XPath expressions to be executed directly against the DOM.

The classes NodeOverNodeInfo, DocumentOverNodeInfo, and the like do the converse: they provide a DOM wrapper over a native Saxon node.

Note that using the DOM with Saxon is considerably less efficient than using Saxon's native tree implementations, the TinyTree and the LinkedTree. The DOM should be used only where there is some good reason, e.g. where other parts of the application have to use DOM interfaces.

Saxon doesn't stop you modifying the contents of the DOM in the course of a transformation (for example, from an extension function, or in a different thread) but the consequences of doing so are unpredictable.