Stilo's SGML Editor

July 5, 1998

Liora Alschuler

The Seybold Report on Internet Publishing
Special to

A view from SGML/XML Europe, '98

by Liora Alschuler

Stilo has made some improvements to its eponymous SGML editor and has added XML to the HTML editor, called WebWriter, built on the same code base, but it has had trouble getting a finished product out the door. Improvements in the latest demo of the SGML editor include a faster parser and notation handling. The company expects to add the ability to handle CDATA and comments before releasing the products commercially at the end of June.

Our previous coverage of Stilo describes several design features of the editor that have always seemed well suited to XML, if only Stilo could get this contender out of the starting gate. For example, in both products, Stilo gives the user iterative control over both DTD and document. If you don't like the DTD or find that you need a new element, you insert it into the document and then recompile the DTD. If you need to modify the DTD, you can do so and then immediately revalidate your document. While this should raise the hair on any system administrator, it seems a good way to work while designing a document schema. In fact, the best schema designers that we know have cobbled together a mix of applications to simulate this same process.

While larger software companies often consider the need for integration services a drain on their core business, consulting has kept Stilo going while it slowly moves toward release. On the whole, the list of things to be added for the next release far outweighs the things added for the most recent release. From the look of things, Stilo will need a strong injection of cash if it is to graduate to the Real Product stage anytime soon. Demos of WebWriter are available from the Stilo Web site.We hope that this little, Welsh start-up can make the transition to little company. Meanwhile, it remains worthwhile tracking Stilo, if for no other reason than to follow the role of two of its founders, Roy and Steve Pike, in creating and advocating MathML.