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Yes, But.... It is usually feature choices. Again, the
problem of XML it is just a syntax and a syntax editor
even if augmented with a structural editor isn't enough.
Once past these, it depends on the actual application but
I think they will have a many features in common.
Note: a compound document will be a freakin' nightmare for
the editor vendor but that is why they get the money
they get for these beasties (inquire into the price
of a *good* animation system).
Off the top:
1. Multiple representations with integrated operations.
In VRML, I need a treeview, dialogs, libary browsers,
a pickable rendering view and the ubiquitous ASCII editor.
Because it is a real time rendering system, I need timeline
based event editors, behavior objects, and so forth. Because
it is a ROUTEd language (events cascade), I need a way to
pick on one object and get a display of available interfaces
and engines, plus the option to create new ones (note that
VRML routes through from event sources and sometimes through
intermediaries such as timers to behaving objects - simple
pipeline descriptions don't quite work here).
2. I need to be able to configure or disable "helper"
features such as intellisense and color coding. We
can argue over initial states, ie, on by default.
3. I need to export and import, translate and transform.
I'm sure others can add to that list.
Yes, they can get in the way, but so far I've been
not too unhappy with XML Spy, Topolologi, and the
still working Professional File Editor.
Parts and assemblies: it's in the way that you use it.
From: Andrzej Jan Taramina [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Yes. Although the complexity of the application,
> the use of high level editing controls that are
> inserting library objects, and so on influence my
> decisions on this. Different languages require
> different tools. XML is great for the overall
> generic tool, but this falls apart in the crunch.
> VRML is my best example. I need the IDE editor because:
I agree with you wholeheartedly.
The difficulty is that IDE's (in my experience) rarely provide the high level
power and constructs that would be useful in a way that is unintrusive and
simple. They "get in the way" more often than not (your example of automatic
insertion of quotes is a good example of this).
Don't get me wrong....if someone comes up with a good IDE for XML and
especially XMLSchemas I'll be on my knees thanking heaven. But I have yet
to see one (market opportunity....hint....hint!). Same with IDE's for Java/C/etc
programming languages.....I have yet to see one that does not get in my way
more than I can bear (and I have used all the big names). If you have found a
good VRML IDE (something I have no need for personally) then that is super!
Andrzej Jan Taramina
Chaeron Corporation: Enterprise System Solutions