Does document.getElementById return a live dom element?

Does document.getElementById in JavaScript return a live DOM element? I am interested to know for performance reason



The distinction between standard and "live" is usually used for lists of elements. document.getElementById returns a single object reference to a DOM node. Once the node is acquired the reference will always point to the same node.

HTML for the example:
<div id="foo"></div>
JS for the example:
var foo,
foo = document.getElementById('foo'); //gets the div
bar = document.getElementById('bar'); //null
foo.setAttribute('id', 'bar');
console.log(; //'bar'
console.log(; //TypeError

The references don't get updated just because the ID of the element might have changed.

This is in contrast to something like document.getElementsByTagName which returns a list of elements with the given tag. The list will automatically update when elements are added to or removed from the DOM.


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