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   W3C XML Schema design tools

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  • To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Subject: W3C XML Schema design tools
  • From: Eric van der Vlist <vdv@dyomedea.com>
  • Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 00:14:41 +0200
  • Organization: Dyomedea (http://dyomedea.com)


I am mostly a Linux (and vim) user and tend to avoid as much as possible
writing W3C XML Schema schemas by hand much preferring generating them
out of more polite formats (such as RELAX NG's compact syntax,
spreadsheets or sample documents).

However, I can't hope that everyone will follow my choices and I have
customers working on Windows who need/want to edit large semi complex
WXS schemas by hand.

I have spent four days with one of them trying to use a recent
evaluation version of XML Spy for that purpose.

On the bright side, their "Schema design view" is rather handy and does
a fairly good job to hide the complexity of the angle brackets syntax
from the user.

On the not so bright side, some features common to most of the IDEs such
as refactoring features are missing and we've crashed the editor several
times (one time with a loss of our entire schema that had been deleted
from the file).

And on the very dark side (IMHO), there are these bugs (or features?)
regarding their support of W3C XML Schema.

We've carefully stayed away from breaking the UPA rule discussed in
another thread, but we had the opportunity to see that XML Spy doesn't
handle correctly something as straightforward as two consecutive simple
type restrictions involving enumerations.

What I find really surprising is that despite all these defects, XML Spy
seems to be the only choice for most of the people and I can't believe
that there is no alternative, ie no other schema editor that provide
graphical editing features while being conform to the rec. 

Other editors such as <oxygen/> and stylus seem promising (at least from
their documentations)... 

What are you using (or advising) to edit your schemas?


Have you ever thought about unit testing XSLT templates?
Eric van der Vlist       http://xmlfr.org            http://dyomedea.com
(ISO) RELAX NG   ISBN:0-596-00421-4 http://oreilly.com/catalog/relax
(W3C) XML Schema ISBN:0-596-00252-1 http://oreilly.com/catalog/xmlschema


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