TimeLux's EditTime

July 5, 1998

Liora Alschuler

The Seybold Report on Internet Publishing
Special to

A view from SGML/XML Europe '98

by Liora Alschuler

Taking a risk that other, larger vendors have been unwilling to take, TimeLux has put a very early version of XSL at the core of its GUI: The EditTime on-screen display is XSL driven. As far as we know, EditTime is the only structured editor that can accept XML with an XSL style sheet as input and generate formatted screens and pages. Several other tools export an XSL style sheet, creating it from their internal style language. EditTime does not export a style sheet, but working with XSL on the input side, as EditTime does, is the hard part, according to no less an expert than James Clark, programmer of the JADE DSSSL engine and member of both the XSL and XML WGs, with whom we spoke on this topic last March.

The basic interface displays content, structure and style. In the screen shot you can see the formatted text with tags shown as icons and, on the right, a tree view of the current document. click to load illustration

The editor can produce fully compliant SGML and fully compliant XML from the same executable, with the usual features you would expect from a structured editor, such as context-sensitive markup. It uses Unicode UCS-2 internally and comes with several filters for common encoding. But EditTime has always gone farther than required on the ease-of-use side, autogenerating required elements, synchronizing documents in separate windows, and supporting undo, re-do and find and replace.

EditTime supports three different modes of structured text display: character stream with angle brackets; partially formatted; and WYSIWYG. In the character stream display, the user can edit delimiters and tag names just as if working in an ASCII editor. The partially formatted display lets the user configure and color the screen display for ease of editing and debugging by setting colors according to parse status and controlling the formatting of tags and data. The WYSIWYG display is XSL driven and gives control over face, font, leading/trailing and interline spacing, margins and alignment.

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