Chapter 1: Introduction
What is xmlHack? And why do we need yet another XML editor?
xmlHack is first and foremost a text editor specifically
for XML documents. It arose during the initial development of
xmlDraft (SysOnyx Inc.'s
XML Schema editor). I was doing more and more XML editing on
all sorts of different machines. These XML documents were
results of stylesheet transformations, so they were never very
nicely formatted. Remembering that xmlDraft has an algorithm
for formatting XML, I stripped out that code and put it into
a simple application dubbed xmlFormatter. All it did was open
a file and had a button to format the XML, and could also save
the file back out.
I started using xmlFormatter quite a bit in my day-to-day work
and for the most part just for, well, formatting. I was still
using UltraEdit (a high-powered text editor) for my normal XML
editing, but I was finding UltraEdit to be a little lacking. I
really wanted some simple, common features to be applied to my
XML documents, such as syntax highlighting. After a while of
this, I started thinking that a good XML Text Editor is what I
really needed, that did both syntax highlighting and well-formatting.
Looking on the web, I wasn't able to find any real simple editors.
All the ones I found were either really rather bloated or written
in Java (which we all know is slow in GUI form). They had a lot
of "features", but none of these features was what I was really
looking for, and in fact most of these features for the most part
really bloated down the application, making the initial load up
take a long time (showing a splash screen, loading libraries of
stuff I never used, etc).
Looking at the text editor found within xmlDraft, and thinking of
the "features" I wanted to put into that editor but hadn't done so
yet, I decided to pull that editor component out into it's own
application, finish these said features, and see if anyone else would
be interested. And thus xmlHack was born.
As you will read, xmlHack is first and an Editor, plain and simple.
Editing text is what XML is all about anyways, and thus xmlHack
let's you hack 'n slash away at your files without getting in your way.
So, read on and learn the gory details where xmlHack came from,
what it wants to do, and where it's going.