DOM and editing [was WISH!...]

Peter Murray-Rust peter at
Thu Jan 6 12:05:15 GMT 2000

At 08:37 PM 1/5/00 -0800, Lauren Wood wrote:
>On 24 Dec 99, at 13:58, Peter Murray-Rust wrote:
>> The lack of an API for an editor effectively makes it impossible for people
>> to develop a modular approach. Many of the "non-textual" DTD/schemas will
>> require specialist editors (my own interest is chemistry, but Math,
>> Geography/maps, SVG, etc are all similar). We need to be able to
>> concentrate *just* on the domain-specific parts of our subject, and not to
>> be concerned with general structural or technical editing.
>What do you need that you don't get from, for example, the DOM + 
>the SVG DOM for editing SVG? I've been encouraging anyone who 
>will listen to me

Of course I listen!

>to define their own DTD/schema-specific DOMs on 
>top of the DOM for domain-specific work; MathML, SVG and SMIL 
>are all doing this, for example, and I see no reason why others 
>shouldn't as well. 

I am indeed doing this! I have specified and implemented a first pass at
CMLDOM using DOM-1. I ran into a number of problems when building/editing
the DOM. I have been using two implementations, xml-tr2 from SUN and xml4j
(now Xerces). Each of these had extended the DOM interface with methods
such as
setTagName() and
which I found to be essential for editing. In doing so the 2
implementations diverged and I could not easily extend one without losing
the ability to switch to the other if necessary. (I appreciate that this is
one of the problems that SAXON tackled). I therefore did not have an
implementation of CMLDOM that could be switched from one implementation to
the other. effectively this means that I would have to rewrite the
interface for different editors

If these and related problems are solved in DOM2 I shall be delighted!
DOM2, however, specifically suggests that the interface can be extended,
and it is these extensions that I am afraid of. 


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