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Articles > How an XML Editor Can Simplify Work Processes

How an XML Editor Can Simplify Work Processes

by nForms on December 26, 2011

Producing XML can be tedious. It takes imagination to see what a piece of code will actually produce. Aside from this XML documents need to be well-formed as well as be composed of entities so it can be read by an XML parser. An XML editor can greatly facilitate the production of a well-formed document.

There are many XML editors in the market today and their capabilities vary. The more expensive editors usually have more features designed to cater to different ways XML programming is used. Each of these, however, has several in common that can be called the basic features of an XML Editor.

Aside from the interface into which one can put in the XML code being developed into a well-formed document, all of these editors can assist in validating the XML document itself. This will help greatly in ensuring the document meets with what is set in the XML specifications as its standards. A desirable characteristic of an XML editor would be the capability of automatically completing tags and correcting errors during typing. Upon saving, errors in the document are identified and pointed out by the editor so there is less likelihood of the occurrence of issues that are not readily identifiable by the programmer alone. These error are called hidden issues, a good example are ampersands that have not been un-escaped. This will make the job of completing the project easier.

Another way an XML editor can facilitate the work process is through templates. There are many aspects of programming that are routine in nature. They are repetitive and appear in almost every program of a certain type or developed with a certain objective in mind. Having a template to fill out instead of starting from scratch will greatly decrease the time spent on formulating the whole thing on your own. Some editors also offer wizards which assist through the whole process and will help ensure than nothing is left out, particularly helpful for someone who is just learning XML or another application of XML.

Most of these editors can also handle multiple documents. Doing one document at a time is not the most efficient way to write XML. This linear method does not reflect the way our minds work. A process also has many components that work together or sequentially. Developing these concurrently will greatly increase productivity and make putting together the whole project easier with fewer snags to worry about. These snags, or inconsistencies, were ironed out early on because the documents were developed together so comparisons could be made to ensure consistency.

Most important is a preview window that has a parser built into it to test whether process produces the desired end-product. Every work process has a goal in mind which it aims at. Being able to visually evaluate each portion of the targeted end result would help in producing what was envisioned at the start.

These features are what makes an XML editor better than just a simple text editor and would greatly simplify what is already a complicated work processes.

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