Editors at XML '98

December 18, 1998

Liora Alschuler

By jove, they think they’ve got it!
(but does anyone want it?)

While the setting was high-tech, the refrain belonged to Henry Higgins. The rough, in-your-face, SGML editorial interface is gaining grace, refinement and an appreciation for layout and style as vendor after vendor enunciated the primacy of Ease-of-Use. This refined sensibility comes just in time to greet a widening of the circle of those editing structured documents.

Below we look at how Adobe’s FrameMaker products and Interleaf’s Bladerunner have augmented what they offer; and, we look again at two European editors that are making products that they believe can transcend the specialized applications for which they were created and cross the Atlantic at the same time. First, however, we look at two stand-out demonstrations of the new approach to structured editing from the stalwarts of the past generation of the let-em-eat-tags school: SoftQuad’s XMetaL and Arbortext’s EPIC.

Finally, we look at the state of the market -- both buyers and sellers -- for XML editors.