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getAttribute() and getAttributeNode()

xiaoma wang
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hi, everyone in the ranch:
When i read the PXML, i am confused by the methods in the Element class. In the DOM tree, attributes are considered to be properties of an element, rather than separate nodes in their own right. But why in the Element class, we need getAttribute() and getAttributeNode() methods? I think only the getAttribute() is enough. Can anybody help me to clear it out?
Thanks in advance!
Xiaoma Wang
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