Peter Murray-Rust peter at
Fri Sep 4 02:36:43 BST 1998

This is to announce the release of the latest snapshot of JUMBO2 (alpha2)
and also the page it's located at: is the home page of the nascent Chemical Markup Forum,
metamorphosing from the Open Molecular Foundation. Henry Rzepa, Steve Zara
and I are involved in getting this going - hopefully more info later.

JUMBO2 is an element-oriented XML-browser, in Java/Swing. Its source is
freely available with the normal sort of copyright. The architecture tries
to follow the specs and anticipate the possible XML-related APIs. The
tension between time available and achievement is evident; there are many
bits not fully finished, but I felt there was a sufficient shortage of
'browsers' that you will forgive the buglets.

JUMBO2 is offered to the community as a catalyst to spawn the creation of
high-quality client-side tools ('browsers'). Ideally we converge towards a
set of core APIs and all that remains of my code will be the
elephant-specific stuff. I have already started to get some offers of help.
At present JUMBO2:
	- uses SAX and a range of parsers
	- uses Swing (tree, table, text, and various windows/widgets). Of these
the text is the worst to make work - not just my opinion.
	- has a namespace kludge (<?jumbo:namespace?> to provide per-element
functionality. This allows a variety of client-side processes:
		- validation (e.g. for data values)
		- transformation of complex objects (e.g. molecules)
		- creation of element-specific rendering (forms, etc.)
		- vector graphics (embryonic, but so is Java until we get Java2D - I'm
told JDK1.2beta4 is rather buggy)
		- other authoring/editing functionality
	- has a per-element stylesheet table editable by the reader, and a number
of default styles
	- can analyse the elements/attributes/values in the tree and navigate to them
	- is not well documented

The latest *.jar is mounted and the *.java should be posted soon. Follow
the WWW site for incremental announcements. I haven't distributed much in
the way of ex maples - there are some simple data files including graphics.
Jon Bosak's Shakespeare works very well. I hope to develop the styletable
approach to support things like rec.xml - you are welcome to play.

**Since this is an alpha release I'd be very grateful for bug-reports, but
not beginners' questions.**

[I had expected that JUMBO would have been overtaken by commercial
client-side browsers by now, but get the sad impression that client-side
XML is not being addressed as excitingly as it could. (The idea of using
XML server-side to generate PDF is underwhelming as a global revolution).
There are so many really exciting things we can do with client-side tools -
I would be very grateful to have more offers of help. JUMBO is critical for
some of the things I need to do and I haven't yet seen much alternative. At
the least I hope we can come up with some useful APIs.]


Peter Murray-Rust, Director Virtual School of Molecular Sciences, domestic
net connection
VSMS, Virtual Hyperglossary

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