XML Editors - Word 2000??

Paul Prescod paul at prescod.net
Tue Jun 29 18:05:31 BST 1999

Ketil Z Malde wrote:
> I maintain it is much better than pretending the structure doesn't
> exist by covering it under formatting issues.

No one advocates pretending that structure doesn't exist. The question is
whether to *indicate* the structure through formatting, as one does in
browsers, or through tags, as one does in a text file. Neither answer is
always right but a tool (like Emacs or XML Notepad) that doesn't give you
the choice is clearly not a serious contender.

> I've on occassion done some support for people using word processors
> for writing HTML pages.  They tend to be rather annoyed if I complain
> about various issues, from mulitmegabyte bitmaps to using obscure
> fonts and extreme hard coded table sizes to downright illegal HTML.
> The response is always that it looks all right on their screen, so it
> must be my software that is doing something wrong.

Exactly. That's why you need a tool that only allows it to "look right on
the screen" if it *is* right. That's why an XML editing environment
requires massive customization.

> > They always understand what you're trying to achieve, they just want
> > it to be easy for them to use.
> Yes.  But my knee-jerk reaction was to the idea that word processors
> - in particular MS Word, but the point would be the same for any
> layout - and formatting-oriented interface - are ideal for producing
> XML.  

I dont' think anyone has said that in this thread. People want an
interface that *is as easy to use* as MSWord. They also want one that is
intuitive. Using the paper metaphor as a guide is intuitive. You
acknowledge this yourself:

> Thinking about it, I guess I could modify it to display e.g. heading
> contents in a larger font, or italicize emphasized elements the way it
> does for HTML, ...

I think that you and Marcus are in violent agreement.

 Paul Prescod  - ISOGEN Consulting Engineer speaking for only himself

Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men 
who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without 
thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the roar of its many 
waters. - Fredrick Douglass

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