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RE: XML-appropriate editing data structures


ant xml editor
On Fri, 2004-04-09 at 16:05, Tom Gaven wrote:
> Henrik,
> 
>    The features you ask for (block vs. inline, tables, images, indenting,
> spacing) can not be automatically detected by reading a user-written schema.

Yes, I am well aware of that. That is why an XML editor _must_ have
support for some formatting mechanism. An truly unformatted XML document
is just a long string of characters with no line breaks and no
indentation.

What editors that have no explicit formatting support do, is that they
implicitly rely on formatting conventions for text editors. I would
argue that this is a bad thing, generally speaking. (Not necessarily for
specialized cases. Eclipse's Ant editor does it, and that does not
bother me. Then again, it is an Ant editor, not an XML editor.)


> I think you're confusing a general-purpose XML editor with a very specific
> XML editor tailored to specific XML vocabulary(s). I guess I just don't see
> this as a 'programmer' vs. 'author' issue. 

I believe the discussion was (mostly) about general purpose XML editors.
XML editors are general purpose by definition. An editor tailored to a
specific vocabulary isn't really an XML editor, it is an <?insert
vocabulary name?> editor. For example, there are a lot of editors around
that can handle XHTML (more or less) but one would not call them XML
editors.

Of course, for many special purpose editors, for example SVG editors,
the idea that formatting is important still applies.

I don't think I'm confused, though if I am, I probably wouldn't know it.
:-)

I am deliberately approaching the issue from a different perspective
than most other posters in this thread. It is not so much a question of
being right or wrong, as of different people having different needs.

I have seen a number of XML editors that are being touted as general
purpose XML editors, even though it is highly doubtful that they qualify
as such. They may be excellent editors for programmers, but that does
not make them excellent XML editors.

> 
>   I think a step to alleviate the problems you mentioned would be for
> general purpose XML editors to provide a 'preview in browser', 'run
> stylesheet' and/or 'run XML processing pipeling' options.

I believe general purpose XML editors, like XMetaL and Publisher, need
to have real time formatting support. Special purpose XML editors can
conceivably do without.

/Henrik



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