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Re: psgml - support for XML namespaces and schemas?

From: D. D. Brierton
Subject: Re: psgml - support for XML namespaces and schemas?
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 2002 02:28:57 +0000
User-agent: Pan/0.11.4 (Unix)

On Sun, 10 Nov 2002 01:41:09 +0000, Galen Boyer wrote:

> It uses PSGML mode for the structured editing but then it has built in
> parsing of the dtd so that you get context sensitive tag creation through
> menus.  I find this quite helpful.

I may be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure that it is PSGML which is providing
that functionality. PSGML on its own has the capability to parse a DTD and
then offer context sensitive menus for inserting elements and attributes
(i.e. the contents of the menus only reflect what would be valid at that
point in the document).

> It supports the docbook right out of the box, but any other available dtd
> that you reference can be the dtd for that document and that dtd will get
> parsed and context sensitive menus created for that document. I like it
> mostly cause it has the built-in xslt processor and a menu item,
>    XAE --> View Document --> In Html Browser

The thing is that I am either working directly with XHTML anyway, or writing
my own XSL transformations which I then use via PHP. (I'm a web developer
working mostly with the XML family, PHP, Javascript and CSS.) Things which
are very cool if you are primarily a Docbook writer are not necessarily that
useful for me.

> Not sure how to soften those frustrations.  If your java environment isn't
> correct, the XAE isn't going to correct it.  But, you could ask the XAE list
> on how to correct it.  You might get an answer.

And also that was a while ago and I'm now using a much more up-to-date Linux
and so it's entirely possible that my Java problems have gone away.

>> Well schemas and namespace are certainly a core part of XML's direction,
>> and I don't see how any full-featured XML editing environment can not
>> support them, but at the same time to the best of my understanding XAE just
>> uses PSGML, and Lennart and others have implied that adding support for
>> them would involve a very major re-write.
> I think the context sensitive menu creation by parsing the referenced DTD is
> what you mean by supporting?

Yes. For the kind of stuff I'm working on, either for current clients, or as
future prodiucts to sell to clients, hybrid XML documents are becoming the
norm. By that I mean documents which contain markup from more than one XML
application; such documents depend on namespaces for validation and DTDs
don't understand namespaces so XML schemas *have* to be used instead. Ideally,
ones editing environment should also understand that documents can be hybrid
and instead of looking to the DTD for populating menus for the insertion of
elements or attributes they need to be able to understand namespaces.

> The last thing that makes the XAE attractive to me, is that Paul's JDE is a
> really nice package.  I see the XAE having even a much fuller environment as
> Paul turns his concentrations to it.  It is extremely useful already.  I'd
> like to be a user and help him by offering my perspective as a user.  So, I
> guess I'm saying that I trust that the package will remain in active
> development for quite some time, and seeing the power of the JDE makes me
> wonder what the XAE will look like in the future.

Well on top of beng rubbish at lisp, I'm pretty rubbish at Java! (Please
don't let there be anyone I work for reading this!) But I've seen the JDE and
it is truly impressive. You are convincing me to investigate the XAE further,
but I think the bottom line is that I need an XML editing environment that
groks namespaces and schemas, and at the moment XAE looks like it is very
much aimed at the Docbook writer. PSGML is the nearest thing I've found, but
maybe trying to make PSGML understand namespaces and schemas is too big a
poject, in which case we need another package altogether. And that thought
makes me feel a little glum ...

Best, Darren

P.S. This was written very late at night after much wine, so if I'm not
making sense I apologise.

D. D. Brierton   
       Trying is the first step towards failure (Homer Simpson)

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