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Re: [xml-dev] Graphical DTD/XSD Viewer

On Feb 10, 2011, at 6:28 AM, Michael Kay wrote:

> On 10/02/2011 10:45, Stephen Green wrote:
>> I reckon schema designers / architects should all have access to or
>> possess at least a
>> couple of these graphical tools.
> Michael Sperberg-McQueen has produced an XSLT stylesheet (suitable for use client-side in a browser) that displays an XSD schema document as a hyperlinked HTML document. It works particularly well when XHTML annotations have been used to document the schema. It's probably the best tool I know of for presenting a schema to users. Unfortunately I have a copy but don't know the original URL - I'm sure it would be possible to find out.

OK, Mchael, sometimes I can take a hint.

The stylesheet itself is publicly accessible from the W3C server at


A few schema documents on the W3C server include an XML stylesheet
instruction pointing to this stylesheet; see, for example, the schema 
document for SML, the Service Modeling Language, at


Some browsers, however, will refuse to process a document from one
domain using a stylesheet from another domain (on the grounds that
it represents a form of cross-site scripting and thus a security risk -- 
it would require more imagination than I have to figure out how to 
compromise a user's security this way, but security experts are paid
to cultivate healthy paranoia).  One way to apply the stylesheet to a 
schema document (without copying either the stylesheet or the schema 
document or both to a server you control) is to use the W3C's
XSLT server at 


and provide the URI of the stylesheet and the schema document.

The stylesheet is covered by the W3C license (for reasons I
no longer fathom, it's the Document License, not the Software 
License) so it is available for copying and revision; if anyone makes
improvements to it, I'd be happy to hear about them.

One final note:  owing to a long-standing bug in Mozilla's XSLT 
(https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=94270), the hyperlinking
of names within the schema document does not work properly in Firefox.  

* C. M. Sperberg-McQueen, Black Mesa Technologies LLC
* http://www.blackmesatech.com 
* http://cmsmcq.com/mib                 
* http://balisage.net

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