>Visual Editor for XML

>The Visual Editor for XML is now an official Web Tools Platform incubating project. The code is checked into CVS, and some initial work on refactoring and re-arranging the plugins has begun. With that said, a wiki page has been started for tracking feature requests for the editor and plugins. If you’ve used VEX in the past, please visit the new wiki page, and the feature request page. We are looking for feedback on what functionality is still needed for VEX.

VEX Preview:

To wet your appetites a bit here is a screen shot of VEX working with a DocBook 4.5 file.


The top editor is the VEX Visual Editor, the editor below shows the source in the WTP XML Editor. The long term plan is to make this an optional MultiPage editor (i.e. so that the source can be reviewed and corrected if necessary.

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15 Responses to >Visual Editor for XML

  1. Eric Rizzo says:

    >I wonder what it would be like to edit EMF ecore model files with VEX. I’ve always found the ecore editor to be pretty awful, and the various Modeling Tools stuff doesn’t fit well into my flow (for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on).If I understand VEX, it seems that with the relatively small amount of work of building a sensible CSS to present ecore models, we could get a better editor. Unfortunately, I don’t know CSS or XPath well enough to even attempt it. Dave, this sounds like something you could bang out relatively quickly… wanna take the bait? 😉

  2. David Carver says:

    >One of the things that VEX needs is a DTD to know what is valid and what isn’t valid for that particular model. If you can take your emf ecore model and generate a DTD for the XML that might help.As for the CSS part, all that really is is mapping the appropriate XML tags, and saying what styling you want to have applied to them. Open a feature request, and we’ll see what we can work in.

  3. >David, this is exciting to see how quickly things have progressed with VEX since we talked about it on IRC.Once things are in order, I recommend creating an article for Eclipse Corner to get people excited.

  4. >Does it support rendering of tables and images yet? I also wonder if John is planning to work on the code?

  5. >Just a DTD or any grammar? Technically that information’s already provided for DTD and Schemas.

  6. David Carver says:

    >@Eugene: John isn’t planning on working on it as far as I know, he’s turned it over to Ed Burnette and myself to continue working on it at Eclipse.@Nitin: VEX currently is only DTD aware, the plan is to migrate it over so it is aware of much of the functionality that the core xml plugins provide from WTP.

  7. David Carver says:

    >Oh..and yes it can understand tables…but I haven’t verified it how well the implementation works. My first job was to make sure I haven’t really broken too much during the refactoring and making sure the unit tests are working.

  8. >Hi, this is interesting to me because I would like to use it in a new version of my EclipseWiki editor.Do you know if vex will be extensible enough to support hyperlinks handled by a plugin?Channing

  9. David Carver says:

    >@Channing: it’ll do what the user community asks us to support. Add a feature request to the wiki page and report a bugzilla enhancement request for it as well.

  10. >@Eric: have you ever looked at emfatic? emfatic is a pretty cool textual representation for ecore files. It can be downloaded from here. A few days ago I added a preference to generate the .ecore file automatically on save.

  11. mf says:

    >I’m very glad that VEX has been revived, since AFAIK there’s no free/open source visual XML editor around.The best solution I found is XMLMind XML editor, in terms of features and cost: it’s written in java, its GUI is responsive enough, it is extendable and free (as in “free beer”) in its “personal edition”.But it is not free nor open source, even if you can use its libs to embed it in your apps.My two cent suggestion is: look at it for ideas about how a good visual xml editor should be (please do not misunderstand: it’s not my intention to advertise any product, since I’d gladly leave XMLMind editor for a free/open source one)

  12. s.c says:

    >To see Vex being further integrated within Eclipse, it is quite encouraging to see, I consider. Glad to hear about it, looking forward to seeing how it progresses, and — time and work-load allowing, no doubt — to “chip in” about it.

  13. Max says:

    >mf: JBoss Tools have had a visual xml editor for some time know 😉

  14. David Carver says:

    >Hey, Max, how about JBoss contributing back to the project. 🙂

  15. Max says:

    >sure, but we need something we can release now.I’ll have my eye on it 😉

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