Arbortext Goes Freeform

March 15, 1999

Liora Alschuler

The Seybold Report on Internet Publishing
Special to

The next release of Arbortext Adept Editor will ship with the capacity to edit and display DTD-less and stylesheet-less XML documents. At XTech '99, Vice President of Research and W3C Advisory Board member Paul Grosso demonstrated the importation of an XML document instance with no identified (or locatable) DTD or stylesheet. On import, the text and markup flow together with element boundaries shown as start and end tag icons.

click to load illustration

The user can save the style information as a set of processing instructions for reuse with Adept or as a cascading stylesheet for use with any application that supports CSS. If the user wants to add a new type of tag, they can do so and assign the behaviour of one of the meta tags. Users can add new attribute types to an element and the editor will allow the attribute on any element of that type.

Under the covers, the meta tags are FOSIs — format output specification instances — the style sheets that drive the Adept Publisher, so users who are FOSI-savvy can add new meta tags and change meta tag behavior.

Grosso made it clear that use of PIs and CSS does not in any way diminish the companies support for XSL. It addresses a need articulated by Adept users who have asked, "Why can't I just read in and edit an XML file?" According to Grosso, this feature will answer the need to fix something now even when the application cannot locate a DTD or a style sheet.