Re: Open Source XML Editor
On Mon, 12 Feb 2001, Michael Smith wrote: > Regarding a key point you make in the article: > > What XML geeks really want to see is a free WYSIWYG XML editor like > XMetaL or Adept. And here it is. If we restrict ourselves (or our > customers) to using defined styles, OpenOffice can truly be a > structured XML editor, without ever knowing you are editing XML. > > Isn't the main value of a structured or so-called "validating" editor > like XMetaL or Adept/Epic (or Emacs/PSGML, or a WYSIWYG editor like > Morphon or epcEdit) that it enables validated editing against any > _arbitrary_ DTD you plug into it, and gives you clear, direct access > to the structural and semantic richness/complexity of that DTD? > > That is, what I think most people have in mind when they hear the > phrase "structured XML editor" is an editor that constrains document > authors to all rules of whatever DTD they want to author with -- > including restrictions on element order, on attribute values, and so > on -- not just that it constrains them to a certain set of elements. I guess I'm looking at it from an unusual perspective, and to that end, maybe "structured XML editor" was the wrong term to use. Just to kick off, I will say that OpenOffice *does* offer ways to guide you what "tags" are valid at a particular point in your document. It does this by defining style hierarchies. I'm not 100% sure if this is flexible enough, but its a start for what you're after. But the way I see it personally is that OpenOffice allows you to edit arbitrary XML structures by modifying the *stylesheet* you apply to the core OpenOffice XML format. So for example, I have stylesheets (and accompanying OpenOffice templates) that allow you to generate either DocBook or HTML directly. Other XML dialects are easy enough to add. I'm not arguing with you though - I agree with what you're saying - its not *exactly* what XMetaL or Adept give us. And it probably never will be. But for many of us it hits that "good enough" spot, and in fact is probably at a more intuitive level of usability than those other tools. As usual, its a case of "right tool for the job". OpenOffice probably isn't a good tool for authoring aircraft manuals, but it rocks for doing technical documents to display on the web (note that the article in question was authored using this technique). -- <Matt/> /|| ** Director and CTO ** ** http://axkit.com/ ** //|| ** AxKit.com Ltd ** ** XML Application Serving ** // || ** http://axkit.org ** ** XSLT, XPathScript, XSP ** // \\| // \\// //\\ // \\
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