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Please explain difference between IE and Firefox in dom .childNodes length values.

Posted on 2006-06-22
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Last Modified: 2008-01-16
Here is a test html file.  (see below).  In IE it returns the number of child nodes for the row as 3, which is what I expected.  In firefox it returns the number of children as 7, which appears to be the number of all descendents, not just the number of children.  Is there an easy way of getting the number of children that will work in both IE and firefox?

==== code below ====
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
      "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">

<html>
<head>
      <title>Untitled</title>
</head>

<body>
<table id="t" border="1">
<tr id="row1">
<td id="cell1">cell 1</td>
<td id="cell2"><div id="div1">cell 2 in div</div></td>
<td id="cell3"><div id="div2">cell 3 in div</div></td>
</tr>
</table>

<script type="text/javascript">var tr = document.getElementById("row1")
            document.write("number of childs:"+tr.childNodes.length)
</script>
</body>
</html>
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Question by:Bob_j_Wallace
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3 Comments
 
LVL 30

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by:
GrandSchtroumpf earned 125 total points
ID: 16964817
That's because IE ignores the text nodes that separate your <td> elements.
This script shows the node types (3 = text node):

<script type="text/javascript">
  var tr = document.getElementById("row1")
  document.write("number of childs:"+tr.childNodes.length)
  var children = tr.childNodes;
  for (var i = 0; i < children.length; i++) {
    document.write("<br>childs node type:" + children[i].nodeType);
  }
</script>

remove the space chars between your <td> and you'll get the same results in all browsers:

<table id="t" border="1">
<tr id="row1"><td id="cell1">cell 1</td><td id="cell2"><div id="div1">cell 2 in div</div></td><td id="cell3"><div id="div2">cell 3 in div</div></td></tr>
</table>

You can use the DOM inspector in FF (menu tools/DOM inspector).  It will show you the text nodes.
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