Chapter 2. XML Editors

Although it is certainly possible to work with XML using only a text editor (such as emacs, vi, or even Windows Notepad), having a tool specifically designed or expanded for working with XML can make your life much easier. Beyond creating XML files, these tools add validation, schema creation, mapping, and even advanced features such as XSLT debugging to the mix; making you more productive and more successful when working with XML. In short, you want a dedicated XML editor to make working with XML easier.

This chapter will survey some of the more popular tools available for working with XML, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each.

The XML editors described in this chapter include:

  • Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003

  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005

  • Altova XMLSpy

  • Oxygen

  • Stylus

Visual Studio .NET 2003

Many developers spend a lot of their time in Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003, so it makes sense that it should also provide XML functionality. The XML features of Visual Studio .NET 2003 are somewhat basic, but utilizing them may reduce your need to purchase and learn additional tools.

Basic Editing in Visual Studio .NET 2003

By basic editing, I do mean basic. Editing XML with Visual Studio .NET 2003 is pretty much the same experience as editing XML with a text editor, with a few notable exceptions. The first is the addition of IntelliSense when working with XML files using a known schema. (See Figure 2-1) IntelliSense is the term for the drop down list that appears ...

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