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From "Jean T. Anderson" <...@bristowhill.com>
Subject [web / doc] 3 tools for editing Derby Web site XML source
Date Wed, 31 May 2006 23:31:53 GMT
My xml editor has been vi (yes, I'm a dinosaur), so I started looking at
XML editors. I put notes about three products I briefly looked at down
below for anyone who might be interested:

  - jEdit
  - Eclipse WST XML Editor
  - XMLBuddy Eclipse plugin

I worked with each for no more than an hour because fast spinup is
important, but it also means that I'm stating opinions without being
fully knowledgeable.

btw, forrest has an eclipse plugin
(http://forrest.apache.org/tools/eclipse.html); however, I did not use
it because I'm looking for a more general editor that can handle any
xml, including the xml source that apache anakia and maven sites use.

XML validation is my main interest, so I tested two basic things that I
am prone to goofing up:

  1) Invalid tag: <sectoin>bad tag</sectoin> (instead of "section")
  2) Unclosed <p> tag

I also tried to configure the catalog entity resolver to get the forrest
dtd's locally and avoid going out to forrest.apache.org.


*** jEdit (www.jedit.org / GPL) ***

What a sweet tool! Within an hour I had downloaded, installed, and was
using it. Very nice, comprehensive documentation.

Test 1 error: the invalid tag was underlined in red and the error was
'Element type "sectoin" must be declared'. [Excellent]

Test 2 error: 'The element type "p" must be terminated by the matching
end-tag "</p>".' No location for the problem, but it has a handy "Close
Last Open Tag" functionality. [Good]

The forrest web site explains how to configure the catalog entity
resolver (http://forrest.apache.org/docs_0_70/catalog.html). [Excellent]


*** Eclipse WST XML Editor (www.eclipse.org / EPL) ***

WST, which is part of the Web Tools Project (WTP), includes an XML
editor. You'll find the documentation for it in Web Standard Tools
Developers Guide -> XML Tools & Schema Definition.

It seems to run out of steam pretty quickly: it validates but can't
provide specific information about the error. The close tag completion
works, but it can't provide a list of tags from which to choose inserts.

Test 1 error: 'The content of element type "section" must match
"(title,(section|p|source|...|anchor)*)"', with no indication where the
problem was. [Poor]

Test 2 error: 'The element type "p" must be terminated by the matching
end-tag "</p>"'. [Poor]

I didn't figure out how to configure the catalog entity resolver.
[assume it's my problem]


*** XMLBuddy Eclipse Plug-in (xmlbuddy.com / Free) ***

It isn't open source but the base XMLBuddy product is free and XMLBuddy
Pro is $35 U.S.

Very nice -- everything validates live as you type and the performance
is great. If there's documentation I didn't spot it, but haven't seemed
to need it yet.

Test 1 error: 'Element type "sectoin" must be declared.' [Excellent]

Test 2 error: 'Fatal error - The element type "p" must be terminated by
the matching end-tag "</p>".' Since it validates while you're typing,
it's easier to catch the error early. [Excellent]

XMLBuddy caches the DTD; I'm looking for a way to configure the entity
resolver, but caching reduces future hits on forrest.apache.org, so
that's good. [Good]


Of the three, XMLBuddy was the best at catching both types of errors in
time for me to fix them, without my having to hunt down the closed tag
problem.

all my personal opinion, of course,

 -jean



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