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How can I insert a node before an other using dom4j?

Posted by: admin December 28, 2021 Leave a comment


I have a org.dom4j.Document instance that is a DefaultDocument implementation to be specific. I would like to insert a new node just before an other one. I do not really understand the dom4j api, I am confused of the differences between Element and DOMElement and stuff.

org.dom4j.dom.DOMElement.insertBefore is not working for me because the Node I have is not a DOMElement. DOMNodeHelper.insertBefore is nor good because I have org.dom4j.Node instances and not org.w3c.dom.Node instances. OMG.

Could you give me a little code snippet that does this job for me?

This is what I have now:

// puts lr's to the very end in the xml, but I'd like to put them before 'e'
for(Element lr : loopResult) {

It’s an “old” question, but the answer may still be relevant. One problem with the DOM4J API is that there are too many ways to do the same thing; too many convenience methods with the effect that you cannot see the forest for the trees. In your case, you should get a List of child elements and insert your element at the desired position: Something like this (untested):

// get a list of e's sibling elements, including e
List elements = e.getParent().elements();
// insert new element at e' position, i.e. before e
elements.add(elements.indexOf(e), lr);

Lists in DOM4J are live lists, i.e. a mutating list operation affects the document tree and vice versa

As a side note, DOMElement and all the other classes in org.dom4j.dom is a DOM4J implementation that also supports the w3c DOM API. This is rarely needed (I would not have put it and a bunch of the other “esoteric” packges like bean, datatype, jaxb, swing etc, in the same distribution unit). Concentrate on the core org.dom4j, org.dom4j.tree, org.dom4j.io and org.dom4j.xpathpackages.