The W3C Web API Working Group has published the first working draft of ElementTraversal Specification. "This specification defines the ElementTraversal interface, which allows script navigation of the elements of a DOM tree, excluding all other nodes in the DOM, such as text nodes. It also provides a property to expose the number of child elements of an element. It is intended to provide a more convenient alternative to existing DOM navigation interfaces, with a low implementation footprint." Hmm, just what the DOM needs: yet another way to do it.
ElementTraversal provides some extra properties/methods for navigating only through elements, while ignoring text and white space:
This makes it easier to process record-like XML, but inappropriate for reading documents with mixed content.
The whole enterprise of a cross-language API was doomed from the start. Browsers should move to E4X, and sooner rather than later. Standalone programs should move to language specific APIs like XOM and Amara. Let's deprecate DOM, recognize it for the mistake it was, and get on with our lives and our work. There are better alternatives out there. Let's use them.