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- From: Peter Murray-Rust <email@example.com>
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 22:01:46
At 15:18 08/08/98 +0000, Eric Eldred wrote:
>Tim Bray wrote:
>1. Talk to the *HTML editor* people. They are responsible
>for foisting a lot of errors on us--I don't care whether
>they are validated or not--they often produce such
>garbage (Front Page, Cold Fusion) that I can't read them
>with Lynx at all. The lack of a good, free XML editor is
>shameful (don't ask me to use emacs).
Well, I use Henry Thomson's XED and I think he's created an excellent tool
- and it's free.
More generally - writing a completely generic XML editor is hard, so I
think your criticism is a bit harsh. XML is only 6 months old, and many of
its components are not yet RECs. AN XML editor has to:
- provide XML compatible with any DTD (i.e. requires an internal
validator). Do you want this validation to be done for every keystroke?
after a component has been assembled?
- manage generic text editing including images, formatting. I have been
using SUN's Swing classes - they are very good - but pretty complex. They
use a model-view-controller approach which take a bit of getting used to.
For example in the com.sun.java.swing.text package there are fifty classes.
- manage links, etc. This requires management of XPointers (not yet here),
XLL (also not yet here).
- be stylesheet driven by XSL (also not yet here).
So far we have only considered text. We have also to be able to edit
structure and also deal with arbitrary information objects. I have been
hacking this into JUMBO and have just about finished - there are ca. 9 data
types so far (int, float, boolean, string, email, url, link, html,
enumeration). Each of these has to have different formatting and semantic
validation (i.e. does the value make sense). At present these conform to a
hardcoded DTD (XML-data-like), but I plan to develop it generically as
It's even more challenging to edit maths equations, molecules, music, etc.
the browser/editor has to have an abstract API into which any objet can be
plugged. At present I have things like:
These have to cover the whole spectrum of disciplines. Naturally I shall be
concentrating on molecules.
There are many people who have put a great deal of effort into making good
XML software and making it freely available. Personally I think the effort
has been remarkable. Expecting high quality tools for free and calling our
effort 'shameful' is not very motivational. Do you have anything to
contribute to the effort? If you have a constructive proposal we'd be
delighted to have it.
Peter Murray-Rust, Director Virtual School of Molecular Sciences, domestic
VSMS http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/vsms, Virtual Hyperglossary
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