Editing XML: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (3/5) - exploring XML
Editing XML: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
The SGML family tries to capitalize on the similarities between the more intricate SGML and the more straightforward XML. While the XML scene might profit from the long-standing experience of the SGML players, you sometimes come across two disturbing points: Notoriously high prices, or old software in new packages, or both.
Stylo is one of the companies in the SGML arena. Their "new" product WebWriter looks like a recycled Windows 3.1 application, with an editing mechanism I was unable to adapt to.
Not bad for a price of 160 US Dollars, no matter whether the currency is currently strong or not. If you fare better than I did let me know.
Adobe ( formerly Frame Corp.) Framemaker+SGMLFrameMaker is a powerful frame-based word processing application, available for Windows and various Unix platforms. It has a strong following in the scientific community and the SGML documentation world. The product has been adapted for XML, so if you are already using it have a look at the updated version.
Arbortext Adept Editor LE
Adept Editor LE is a lighter version of Arbortext's XML/SGML editor. Adept Editor LE limits access to more complex functions of the full-fledged version but it is still useful for those who use it solely to create and revise XML/SGML content. With its one-row toolbar, simple menus and familiar word processor interface, it looks and feels like a typical word processors.
Corel Wordperfect 2000
Although the Almost-Office-Monopolist Microsoft is quite intensively involved in XML activities, Word for Windows 2000 shows that it is not willing to part with proprietary technology right now. Corel, having more of a pressure to innovate, has now released the first of a new generation of word processors. Wordperfect 8 already sported a SGML module, so it was a relatively easy step to support XML in the successor, and to integrate it more tightly with the core product.
A dedicated toolbar for XML-related functions gives access to different views on an XML document, with or without tags, in a tree structure or flat. An XML project designer ties together DTD compiler, validator, and designer. The DTD designer maps formatting styles to XML tags and makes it easy to create and edit documents of a certain DTD type. The proprietary storage of this mapping as well as some annoying bugs in the XML-specific functionality leave some sour spots on the otherwise positive overall impression. Maybe this is the reason why Corel does not particularly mention the XML capabilities of WordPerfect 2000, but the combination of the well-known functionality of a traditional word processor with the structured working style demanded from XML documents represents a true innovation.
Let's look at the NewWebbers.
Created: Feb. 13, 2000
Revised: Feb. 29, 2000