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Subject: Re: DOCBOOK-APPS: XML editor for Windoze

> From: Dave Pawson <daveP@dpawson.freeserve.co.uk>
> >I suggest you look at XMetal from SoftQuad.
> >I use it regularly for writing DocBook XML files,
> >and I've found it quite usable.
> We have admin staff using it regularly, and happily.
> My only caveat, its a bit 'chunky'. Great with a 19in screen,
> but everything is 'large', and with a tags window open, the amount
> of text viewable on screen is not great.
> Just be aware of its nasty habit of not recognising when you mean
> an entity, and when you've written Marks & Spencers :-)

Actually, this reminds me of another feature/quirk
of XMetal that you *must* watch out for when setting
up Docbook: Text Layout.  In addition to formatting with CSS
in the graphical view of your XML file, XMetal
has another view, of the raw XML code.  That 
view also has formatting features called Text Layout
(found under Tools->Customizations->Text Layout).

If Text Layout is enabled, it pretty prints the XML code,
inserting line breaks between elements and indenting nested
elements.  It's nice, but watch out, because it will also
break and rewrap lines.  Unless it is told, XMetal cannot
tell the difference between a <para> and a <literallayout>
element.  Now imagine what happens when all your
<literallayout> and <programlisting> elements have their
lines joined and wrapped!  It's a huge mess, because it
gets saved in the file.  

XMetal gives you complete control over which elements are
wrapped and which are not. But you have to exert that
control.  So if you enable Text Layout, be sure to
customize each of the elements that should preserve
whitespace with the Preserve Space checkbox.  

Bob Stayton                                 400 Encinal Street
Publications Architect                      Santa Cruz, CA  95060
Technical Publications                      voice: (831) 427-7796
The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc.              fax:   (831) 429-1887
                                            email: bobs@sco.com

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