XML Editors - Word 2000??

Paul Prescod paul at prescod.net
Wed Jun 30 16:50:53 BST 1999

Rick Jelliffe wrote:
> On the subject of XML editors:
> * FrameMaker+SGML is excellent, but a big job to set up for complete
> structured editing.

Ugh. Not only painful to set up, but has no support for XML import, IIRC.
And no macro language. And no mode that strongly requires validity.

But it has GREAT WYSIWYG and excellent rendering nad printing.

> Not to be contrarian, but I would love an XML editor that hid structure
> from me.

But you go on to describe one that allows you to get at structure
*through* style:

> I think a good user interface for an editor would also allow specify
> elements by reverse tracing through the stylesheet: you know you want 
> to insert an element that is rendered italic & bold by the current 
> stylesheet, so you select menu Style>Italic>Bold>
> and it would present you a choice of any element types in the current
> context whose stylesheet matches that description.

So you need to know the structural member that you are looking for.
Structure can't be hidden.

> Just like a coloured map, it would be great if all inline elements were
> associated with a font or style, and that I could use the style menus 
> to drill down to the allowed generic elements in context.

Maps are for navigation, not data entry. 

> For some people, I think visual operation is stronger than conceptual
> operation; for markup languages it means that even though I may start 
> editing a document using thoughts about the structure, when I become 
> familiar with the editor I may be better switching over to using 
> visual cues (and to using keyboard rhythms).

I think that the keyboard rhythms are a lot more important for data entry
than the visual cues. The visual cues are mostly important for finding and
recognizing things that are already in the document. Navigation, not data

> On a similar vein, one good thing that having named content models in
> XML Schemas is that they can allow hierarchical menus for selecting
> elements.

I strongly agree. Named model groups are very important. 

 Paul Prescod  - ISOGEN Consulting Engineer speaking for only himself

"The new revolutionaries believe the time has come for an aggressive 
move against our oppressors. We have established a solid beachhead 
on Friday. We now intend to fight vigorously for 'casual Thursdays.'
  -- who says America's revolutionary spirit is dead?

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