Introduction to XML Editors John New 2005 2006 John New. This document was created by John New, an adjunct IT lecturer at Charles Sturt University, Australia. Structured using DocBook XML, edited using XMLmind XML editor, parsed using Saxon, tidied using HTML Tidy. Copyright Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the GNU FDL is available from http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl.html. Introduction When you create SGML or XML, you use an editor of some kind. Editors can be categorised in various ways, including: basic (has few functions available) complex (has many functions available) free or open-source (can still be an excellent editor) commercial (often but not always expensive) structure-only (just shows the tag hierarchy and text) graphical (provides a WYSIWYG-like view) single-purpose (it's only job is to edit XML documents) multi-purpose (part of an Integrated Development Environment) This document lists some well-known XML editors and provides you with links so that you can undertake your own research on the editors. After completing this practical, you should be able to identify an XML editor that is best suited to your needs for the purposes of completing this subject and for the future. What To Do Investigate each of the XML editors listed in this document. Follow the links provided and read the information describing each editor. Note the editor(s) you would like to investigate further. Download and install the editor(s) and try them out. Use the table included in this document to record whether an editor has a certain feature or not. If you can install the editor, use it to create an XML document, such as the following, and assess how easy or difficult it is to use. For example, try creating this document using WordPad, XMLmind XML Editor, and NetBeans. <!-- From XML in a Nutshell, 3rd edition --> <!-- Copyright 2004 Elliotte Rusty Harold --> <!-- http://www.cafeconleche.org/books/xian3/examples/03/3-3.xml --> <?xml version="1.0" standalone="no"?> <!DOCTYPE person SYSTEM "person.dtd"> <person> <name> <first_name>Alan</first_name> <last_name>Turing</last_name> </name> <profession>computer scientist</profession> <profession>mathematician</profession> <profession>cryptographer</profession> </person> Use the editor to create the DTD associated with this document and assess how easy or difficult it is: <!-- From XML in a Nutshell, 3rd edition --> <!-- Copyright 2004 Elliotte Rusty Harold --> <!-- http://www.cafeconleche.org/books/xian3/examples/03/3-1.xml --> <!ELEMENT person (name, profession*)> <!ELEMENT name (first_name, last_name)> <!ELEMENT first_name (#PCDATA)> <!ELEMENT last_name (#PCDATA)> <!ELEMENT profession (#PCDATA)> Task 1: Investigate Basic Text Editors Simple text editors provide the most basic facilities to create and edit XML documents. Features may include syntax highlighting and the ability to add tag libraries. These include: Microsoft Notepad. Available with Windows OS. Microsoft Wordpad. Available with Windows OS. Task 2: Investigate Graphical Text Editors Graphical editors provide additional features such as syntax highlighting, menus, drag-and-drop editing, WYSIWYG displays. XMLmind XML Editor (XXE). Freeware. A powerful editor with many useful features. Available from http://www.xmlmind.com/xmleditor/. To quickly learn about XXE, do the short tutorial available from http://www.happy-monkey.net/docbook/gui-editor.html. Exchanger XML Lite. Freeware. A powerful editor. Available from http://www.freexmleditor.com/. XML Pro. Open-source. A basic editor. Available from http://www.vervet.com/. Microsoft XML Notepad. Freeware. No longer available from Microsoft. A basic editor. Search on Google for locations. Currently available from http://www.snapfiles.com/get/xmlnotepad.html XML Writer. Shareware. A moderately powerful editor. Available from http://www.xmlwriter.net/. XML Cooktop. Freeware. Available from http://www.xmlcooktop.com/. Peter's XML Editor. Freeware. Available from http://www.iol.ie/~pxe/index.html. Lyx. Open-source. A What You See Is What You Mean (WYSIWYM) document processor. Exports as XML. Available from http://www.lyx.org/. Adobe FrameMaker (SGML / XML Structured Document Mode). Commercial. A trial version is available. Ideal for the serious technical author. Available from http://www.adobe.com/. SoftQuad XMetal. Commercial. A trial version is avaailble. Available from http://www.softquad.com/. Microsoft Word. Commercial. Available from http://www.microsoft.com/. OpenOffice. Open-source. Not an XML editor but uses the OASIS OpenDocument format, an XML-based file format for office applications. Available from http://www.soft.com/. Task 3: Investigate Integrated Development Environments IDEs provide functions such as checks for well-formedness and validity, DTD and schema editing, XSLT transformations, tag completion, management of large projects, and so on. NetBeans. Open-source. A Java-based IDE bundled with the Apache web server and the Tomcat Java servlet container. Available from http://www.netbeans.org/. To quickly learn about NetBeans and XML, do the short tutorial available from http://java.sun.com/developer/Books/javaprogramming/netbeans/netbeans_ch11.pdf XMLSpy. Commercial. A freeware Home/Student edition is available. Available from http://www.altova.com/. Stylus Studio XML Editor. Commercial. A trial version is available. Available from http://www.stylusstudio.com/. Task 4: Complete XML Editor Feature Table Use the following table to record (Yes or No) whether an editor has a certain feature or not. You may need to do some research to understand what each feature means. Add more columns and rows to record additional features. The listed editors are only suggestions. If you don't want to try these editors, pick other editors. XML Editor Feature Table Feature Wordpad XMLMind XML Editor NetBeans Pick Other Editors Text-view XML editing Grid-view XML editing WYSIWYG XML editing DTD editing Schema editing XSL / XSLT editing Check well-formedness Check validity against DTDs Check validity against Schemas XML to (X)HTML transformation XML to text transformation XML to RTF transformation XML to PDF transformation Convert DTD to XSD Schema and vice versa Generate XML document from DTD/XSD Schema Built-in DocBook XML Document DTD Built-in DocBook XML Website DTD Built-in XML Resume DTD Add More Features ...
Conclusion You should now be able to make an informed choice about the XML editor you want to use to complete this subject and for the future. Resources Choosing an XML editor. A paper that compares and contrast a variety of XML editors. Useful background reading.