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   Re: [xml-dev] XML-appropriate editing data structures

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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Elliotte Rusty Harold" <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
To: "Jeff Rafter" <lists@jeffrafter.com>
Cc: <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
Sent: Thursday, April 08, 2004 4:46 PM
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] XML-appropriate editing data structures

> Because it is very common to need to create, either temporarily or
> permanently, invalid content. For instance, when I was writing
> Processing XML with Java in DocBook I typed many xinclude:include
> elements that were not provided for by the DocBook DTD.  In other
> cases I've added custom elements and attributes that are not supplied
> by the DTD.
> And in other cases, I do want valid markup. I just don't want it yet.
> I'm not ready to fill in everything that's required. For instance, I
> might begin a book by typing out an outline as section titles,
> without actually giving the sections any content, though that is
> ultimately required. But I can probably put together an outline in
> day, even though filling in the content may take a year, as long as
> the editor doesn't keep bugging me about the missing parts.
> I've tried editors that attempt to maintain validity. And they're
> just bloody annoying. Even if you want valid markup, they're either
> pestering you with pop-ups; or  filling in what they think you'll add
> and guessing wrong. (There's often more than one possible child
> element that can be added to make a parent element valid.) Bottom
> line: they get in your way. They are not smart enough to figure out
> what needs to be done, but they do something anyway.

I've been very pleased with James Clark's nxml-mode for emacs.  Its
syntax-coloring marks invalid places, but it does not fill in content
automatically.  The only 'electric' feature I use is autocompletion when you
type '</' to complete the current element.  And it's *very* fast, including
whatever validation you allow.


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