Java DOM implementations and cloneNode

Ralph Richard Cook ralphc at
Tue Jan 26 05:13:26 GMT 1999

I'm working on a "pluggable" file load and save (import/export)
feature in an application. I'm using the DOM interface as the data
format I expose to the pluggable components. Internally, I'm trying
both Sun's Project X early access 2 and IBM's XML4J 1.1.9 to build the
DOM object. Some of my components will read and write XML, and I'm
trying both of the above on that side as well.

My problem comes in where I create the DOM object with one of these
libraries and create a XML object to save with the other, and have
them pass information purely through the DOM interface. I create a
TXDocument (for IBM) or a XMLDocument (for Sun) then cast the document
to a DOM Document, and populate it purely with DOM interface calls,
such as createElement and appendChild. In the export component I
create a TXDocument, then cast it to a Document, then try to populate
the Document via cloneNode on Elements from the passed-in Document.
The most common error is ClassCastException, mentioning one of the
classes that implement an interface.

Am I expecting too much here? Shouldn't the classes that implement the
DOM interfaces be able to copy via cloneNode, which is a DOM interface
function? Is this a bug or expected behavior?

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