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ZedX XML Studio - XSL based WYSIWYG editor

Date:      Sat, 14 Jul 2001 12:16:10 -0700
From:      Zheng Min <>
To:        Xml-Dev <>
Subject:   XSL based WYSIWYG editor

I posted the following note a while ago and received a bunch of positive responses. Most of them want to have more details. Some requested for demo version or snapshots.

[...] I just quickly put together a few web pages with some snapshots. For those who are interested, you can take a look at For those expecting running demo version, you may have to wait for a bit longer.

I have been developing some XML editing tools that support XML, XSL and DTD/Schema editing. In addition to normal editing features, there are some features (some of them are quite unique) worth noting:

XSL based WYSIWYG editing. There are editors supporting WYSIWYG editing, such as XMetal. However, they are using CSS that doesn't involve transformation. XSL based WYSIWYG editing, however, needs to translate changes on a transformed document (e.g. HTML) into changes in the original XML document. In my editing tools, this is done by using my patent pending technology that establishes mappings between original and transformed documents.

Error-proof editing in all the editors (i.e. XML editor, XSL editor and Schema editors). No editing actions that may spoil the wellformness or validity of an XML document are allowed. Any editing actions will always generate valid results. This is true in all the views, including source view. If the XML document has an DTD or Schema, the editor will control the editing to follow the structure of DTD/Schema. This changes the paradigm of XML editing from editing and validating to editing, editing and editing.

Interlinked multiple views. The primary UI of XML editor is a side by side structure (tree) and document (WYSIWYG or Source) views, plus several tool windows. All these views are interlinked, that is, any actions in one view are automatically reflected in other windows.

Content-sensitive element/attribute listing and auto-completion. When inserting an element, a pull-down list shows only the valid elements at the point of insertion (not like some editors that show all the elements available in the document). Once an element is selected, the editor automatically creates the element and any sub-elements required by its DTD/Schema. This feature is available for both wellformed and validated document editing.

Direct Database editing. Query database as XML, edit in the editor and then update

User friendly XSL editing with WYSIWYG XSL template editing and two way mappings between XSL source and output results (source with tags or preview). Users can easily see what in a template generate what output and what output is generated by what in which template.

Structure based and rule based XML Schema (also supporting other formats) editor that allows a user to define schemas without knowing the syntax of the schemas.

Many more features such as: multiple views, undo/redo, import/export, schema generation from XML, changing XSL while editing,

I have finished the major parts of these tools and most features are already in place. However, due to finacial contrains, I have to go out to find some extra funds in order to have the final push. If anyones or organizations are interested in funding such a product, please contact me. I'm willing to consider all kind of proposals, including transfering ownership.


Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive.

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