>XML Update

>It has been a while since I gave any type of update on some of the XML related work I am involved with at eclipse. With Milestone 7 under way, which pretty much is a scrub and polish milestone for XSL Tools, it’s time for a little bit of looking forward to what happens after Galileo. Anyways, here is what is new:

  • XSL Tools has officially graduated out of the Incubator and is included in the Web Tools Projects Source Editing project. This provides the most common features needed for XSLT 1.0 support, and most of XSLT 2.0 support. XSLT 2.0 support is still lacking in the way of a free debugger due to IP concerns with Saxon. Hopefully the community will step up and provide a third party debugging integration for Saxon hosted on source forge or something like that.
  • WTP’s XML related editors have gotten some much needed love in the way of performance with larger XML files. In particular on XSDs over 500K to a meg, typing in the editor is actually presentable.
  • With the graduation of XSL Tools, Doug Satchwell and I have both become WTP Source Editor committers. Our primary responsibilities for now are still XSL Tools related, but hopefully we can help address some of the bug backlog.

Some items coming down the line:

  • OASIS XML Catalog 1.1 support. Jesper Moeller has contributed back a complete XML Catalog 1.1 implementation. It’s a long shot to make it into the 3.1 series, but we’ll see what we can do.
  • PscyhoPath the XPath 2.0 parser is starting to be looked at by some of the commercial as well as community interests in the XML world. Since moving to source editing along with the XSL Tools project it’s receive a bit more visibility. We even have some code that was contributed to help run the processor agains the the W3C Test suite.
  • XQuery Development Tools. This is still in the incubator but is to the point where the syntax coloring is stable for now. We do need to implement a correct source parser to help setup the structued source editor regions.
  • VEX. Hasn’t died and almost made a google summer of code project to implement the synchronization between the WYSIWYG Editor and the XML markup.

Google Summer of Code Ideas:

  • RelaxNG editor. Several students were interest in working on creating a RelaxNG editor for Eclipse. As well as validation support.
  • XSL Refactoring. There was some interest in providing refactoring support for the XSL Tools editor as well.
  • XSLT 2.0 Content Assistance. This has some interest to expand the content assitance to XSLT 2.0 for the editor provided by XSL Tools.

Unfortunately there were limited slots and none of these received the number of votes necessary to be selected as official gsoc projects. However, if anybody is still interested in working on any of these, let me know.

Tentative Roadmap:

As for what lies ahead. There are several things brewing and I’m pushing to be done. The top of my list is to get the WTP’s DOM implementation as close to 100% passing of the W3C test suite for all DOM Levels. In addition, we need a more consistent code formatter for both HTML and XML. These basic items will help take enough time on their own, but will help adopters the most. Particularly compliant implementations of the various DOM interfaces.

Like everything else, things can and will change. If there is something I’m missing, and you would like to help. Drop me a note here, and let me know. We may have an open bug. In many ways only through active community involvement will many of these items be addressed.

Eclipse is one of the better platforms that can be used to develop applications for and on. The WTP tools provides the necessary ground work for a wide variety of XML related tooling and applications to be created in a relatively short time frame. However, it does need some spit and polish to address the rough edges. That is where the community can help. I will try my best to make sure the XML related items are given a bit higher visibility in the comming months, but we need to hear from the users and adopters on what they need. So please feel free to drop us a note. We want to hear from you. We need to hear from you.

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4 Responses to >XML Update

  1. >Cool stuff! In regards to formatting and other settings, it would be really handy to be able to set them for an individual projects, like it is done for the Java code formatter.

  2. jc says:

    >Since you asked… (what adopters would like):There are a number of Eclipse and RCP tutorials out there that are very good, e.g. those of Lars Vogel. A tutorial for incorporating the wtp xml editor (and all the supporting paraphenalia like an outline view) into a brand new RCP app would be very helpful. A step by step beginners tutorial, e.g., 1. get the Eclipse RCP ganymede release 2. create a basic rcp app with a view 3. create an extension point for a perspective and set the class to ..wst.xml_ui.perspective (I made this class name up, but I’d like to know if there is one like this) 4. open the editor by passing in an IEditorInput, etc.I am a huge admirer of the Eclipse project, and I realize that the community should (and I am sure will over time) kick in on this, but it is a little harder than I think it need be at the moment to get underway with much of the Eclipe stuff.

  3. David Carver says:

    >@jc: Thanks. I’ve forwarded your comments onto the WTP-Dev mailing list so that all the WTP committers are aware of the request.Please keep them coming.

  4. Jesper says:

    >I do believe that your push for making WTP a better “XML centric” product is paying off. And by product I mean it as a contrast to platform.As for XML Catalogs, I’m still hoping (and battle testing).

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