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   XML utilities (was RE: [xml-dev] Principle of SustainableComplexity)

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On Tue, 2002-02-12 at 13:57, Joshua Allen wrote:
> Having a set of
> widely used (and no cost) tools for reliable copying, detection of files
> being dropped in a directory, etc. would probably be quite helpful,
> although I bet that Perl and things like wget would be sufficient.  In
> addition to the tools for chucking around XML batons in HST work, I
> think there is another big gap that HST people run into, which is that
> most of the existing HST tools for Unix are based on text files that are
> delimited by LF.  Things like grep, cut, and wc are workhorses of HST,
> but totally inapplicable to XML.  A set of similar command-line tools
> that operate on XPath instead of LF would be a huge help in encouraging
> adoption of XML, I think.  I am aware that PaulT, Simon, and maybe some
> others have toyed with these ideas, but I still can't download my
> "mks-tools for XML".  What gives?

I agree there needs to be a lot more work done here.  Regular
Fragmentations [1] lured me into this area, and that pulled me into
creating Markup Object Events [2].  Gorille [3] and Ents [4] are also
tied into this work, but I've got a lot of integration yet to do.

I'm hoping to build MOE into a toolkit for a lot of different kinds of
XML processing which combine structural understanding and lexical
processing.  XMLChucker and XMLBaton are probably entry/exit points for
this processing.  MOE's combination of event and tree models makes it
possible (IMHO, of course) to do complex work in a small space and
stream that work between different kinds of relatively-simple
processors.  MOE also speaks SAX incoming and outgoing, so you don't
need to learn MOE just to use MOE parts.

As far as command-line goes, you can do a lot from the command line but
most of the processing I'm doing is specified in rules files which
provide directions for various filters.  I'm working toward making those
files more sophisticated (largely by implementing XPath for MOE, which
will take time), and I'll hopefully have some direct command-line
utilities for simple work.

I've also got the bare beginnings of a (Swing) GUI for MOE, though it'll
be a while before that does much more than provide a window onto MOE
contents.  Should be a nice supplement to the command-line for debugging
and multi-stage processing at some point.

I'll be a while getting these things cooked, thanks to a full-time job
that keeps the power to the computers going.  The basic framework is
starting to emerge, and I'm getting back to MOE and Reg Frags, finally.
(MOE now uses typesafe enums rather than ints as node type indicators.) 

I'll be presenting on what I'm up to at the NY Object Developers' Group
[5] next month, and I'll post that presentation here when it's ready.

[1] - http://regfrag.sourceforge.net
[2] - http://moe.sourceforge.net
[3] - http://gorille.sourceforge.net
[4] - http://ents.sourceforge.net
[5] - http://www.objdev.org/
Simon St.Laurent
Ring around the content, a pocket full of brackets
Errors, errors, all fall down!


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