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   Re: XML Editor recommendation?

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  • From: Bob Kline <bkline@rksystems.com>
  • To: Michael Champion <mchamp@mediaone.net>
  • Date: Thu, 23 Nov 2000 16:50:54 -0500 (EST)

On Thu, 23 Nov 2000, Michael Champion wrote:

> What features does XMetaL have the Epic LE doesn't, and vice versa?

Not anything a comprehensive list, but some of the more significant
differences (for us), beyond price, included:

1. Platform independence (a plus for the Arbortext line); XMetaL is
   strictly a Windows product.

2. "Standardized" scripting languages (a plus for the Softquad line);
   with XMetaL you can use any scripting language which supports the
   Microsoft Scripting Language Interface (e.g., VBScript, JScript,
   PerlScript, Python), with builtin support for VBScript and JScript.
   Granted, the link to an vendor-specific Interface is not the same
   as, say, an ISO/ANSI language standard, but the Arbortext scripting
   language is rich but completely proprietary.  It's not hard to
   project the relative difficulty of recruiting staff to maintain
   a system scripted in VBScript or JScript versus Arbortext's
   proprietary scripting language.

3. Extension architecture (a plus for Arbortext in our view, though
   I recognize that some developers will call it the other way).  There
   are two options for serious extensions to Epic, using either Java
   or a standard dynamic loadable library (DLL in the Windows world).
   For XMetaL the only choice is Microsoft's OLE Automation interface.
   Compared with direct calls to dll functions, the Automation 
   interface introduces a layer that I'd personally prefer to do
   without, having encountered on more than one project some of the
   bugs that COM/OLE Automation can introduce (and I'm not talking
   about the bugs the project developers make).

4. We found the organization of the Softquad programmer documentation
   made it somewhat easier to find what we were looking for than the
   Arbortext docs.  Not a huge differentiating factor.

Hope this helps.  We'd be interested to hear other assessments.

Bob Kline


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