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There are many different possible tree models for XML. The deeper you
look the more differences you find between DOM, the XML Infoset, XPath
1.0, XPath 2.0, and other tree-based data models. But it doesn't stop
there. There are non-tree-based models of XML documents, and these may
also be profitably used in the right circumstances. XML is defined such
that it is possible to represent a well-formed document as a tree. It is
by no means necessary to do so.
SAX exposes probably the most popular non-tree model, but it's hardly
the only one. Indeed there are non-event, non-tree models as well. Some
people have shredded XML documents into relational tables. That works
too. None of these models are more correct than any of the others. It's
simply a question of which is most useful for the problem at hand given
the available tools.
Elliotte Rusty Harold firstname.lastname@example.org
XML in a Nutshell 3rd Edition Just Published!