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Re: [xml-dev] Re: A proposal for simplify XML text editing andsubsequent processing

On Sat, Sep 17, 2011 at 7:48 AM, Pete Cordell <petexmldev@codalogic.com> wrote:
> Hi Phil,
> While virtual formatting is not relevant to me, I think getting 250
> downloads suggests (a) people understand and relate to the problem you are
> trying to solve and (b) they consider it a real problem rather than a minor
> irritation.

I fear the download count may just have been high simply because this
is a simple, free, light and redistributable .exe that needs no
installation - nothing to do with virtual formatting.
> One reason why you might not have got much feedback is that you said what it
> did and it "just worked" - nothing to say!

If you're right, I can take some comfort from that. It took a while to
come up with something that felt nearly the same as conventionally
formatting editors but was entirely different under the covers.
Keeping formatting updated continuously whilst not shifting text
around the screen too much whilst the user is typing presents a few

> Being devil's advocate, I'm guessing that people might think this is one
> small part of what an XML IDE does and think "that's useful.  I'll wait
> until it turns up in Oxygen or Stylus."

This is actually what I was hoping for, but trying to stimulate a
stronger response a bit more like "why don't I put a feature-request
in to the Oxygen or Stylus people". My own commercial product (which,
with limited sales, I've now shelved) uses this concept. However as
its a specialist XSLT-based batch-processing system hooked into a
custom XSLT IDE, it would never have had the broad appeal of Oxygen,
Stylus (or all the other great XML IDEs out there). Hence the desire
to get wider adoption by other means.

> I do know that it takes people a long time to change their habits.  Even if
> there is a better tool out there, people soldier on with the tool they know,
> because, at least in the short term, they are more productive with that.
> Joel Spolsky wrote an article saying good software takes 10 years to write
> (http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000017.html).  While the
> software may not take 10 years to write, it probably takes 10 years to build
> up the brand to the point where people just use your product without
> concern.

Looks like a useful article I will look it up. I only had 2 years in
total and that just got me to the point where there was a product
(XMLQuire is a light version of this), but it will be reward enough if
other companies take this on.

This concept however leads naturally onto another which I considered
probably too radical and visually oriented in nature to post here: 'Is
there an alternative to indentation to make XML readable?'. I did
however wrap it into a more generic question and posted it on
statckoverflow: 'How can a code editor effectively hint at code
nesting level - without using indentation?' [1].

I formulated what I consider a 'preferred solution' (which I aim to
trial in XMLQuire) to this question by mixing my ideas with those of
others. This question/solution had well over 10,000 views in the first
day and is now sitting at just under 17,000 views. I think this shows
that at least some developers are interested in change, but perhaps
not quite yet - and, as you say, only when it appears in their tool of

[1] http://programmers.stackexchange.com/q/87077/27103


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