[XXE] XMLmind XML Editor V2.7 (long)


Olivier Ishacian

XMLmind XML Editor V2.7 can be downloaded from

V2.7 (August 20, 2004)

Enhancements: (see technical details below)

* Most enhancements are related to the support
of images:

+ In addition to GIF, JPEG and PNG which
are natively supported by all Java[tm]
applications, XXE supports a large number
of image formats through the use of image
toolkit plug-ins.

The Batik plug-in for XXE adds the
support of SVG graphics.

The Jimi plug-in for XXE adds the
support of many formats including TIFF
and BMP. (TIFF support is native on Mac.
BMP support is native with Java[tm] 1.5.)

Standard Edition users: image toolkit
plug-ins can only be used to render
images on screen. They cannot be used in
process commands to convert on the fly
between different image formats.

+ If the image toolkit plug-ins provided by
XMLmind are not sufficient, you can write
your own image toolkit plug-ins in
Java[tm]. But, if you are not a
programmer, you can turn any command line
utility which converts images to GIF,
JPEG or PNG to a fully functional image
toolkit plug-in in just 5 minutes.

Examples of purely declarative, instant,
image toolkit plug-ins are given for EPS,
PDF (based on GhostScript's gs command
line utility), TeX Math (based on
TeX+dvips+GhostScript), PBM, PGM, PPM
(based on netpbm's pnmtopng command
line tool).

+ Images no longer need to be stored in
external files. They can now be embedded
in the XML document if the DTD/W3C XML
Schema designer finds this more

XXE supports embedded SVG graphics as
well as embedded binary images (encoded
in base64Binary, the W3C XML Schema
standard data type).

Moreover XXE has new facilities which
makes it easy to add support for embedded
images when you need to convert the XML
documents to HTML, RTF, PostScript or
PDF. (That is, with the new XXE
facilities, having images embedded in the
XML document does not make writing XSLT
style sheets harder than it already is.)

+ XXE has a new advanced image viewport
component which allows to render images
on screen in a WYSIWYG fashion (this
needs to be specified in the CSS style
sheet). For example, this advanced image
viewport is used to render DocBook
imagedata element on screen exactly as
described in "DocBook: The Definitive

All this is showcased in two new demos:

+ XXE_install_dir/demo/docbook-image.xml is
a demo for authors. It is a
DocBook+SVG article showing how
imagedata and embedded SVG graphics
(imageobject/svg:svg) are rendered on

Conversion to HTML, to RTF (using the
XFC plug-in, Professional Edition
only) and to PostScript/PDF (using the
XEP plug-in, Professional Edition
only) works fine too.

+ XXE_install_dir/docs/configure/samples/im
agedemo/sample.xml is a demo for external
consultants and local gurus which
requires the sample configuration found
agedemo/ to be properly installed. It
shows how embedded images encoded in
base64Binary are rendered on screen and
how they can be converted to HTML, RTF,
PostScript and PDF.

* A new command line utility called convertdoc
is now bundled with XXE. It allows to execute
XXE process commands from the command line,
exactly as if these process commands were
executed from XXE.

Just like XXE, the convertdoc command line
utility scans directories for configurations
and XML catalogs, loads image toolkit
plug-ins, loads FO processor plug-ins,
supports XInclude, etc.

Note that convertdoc Standard Edition has
exactly the same artificial restrictions than
XXE Standard Edition: limited support of W3C
XML Schemas, no support of FO processor except
XEP Trial Edition, image toolkit plug-ins
cannot be used to convert on the fly between
different image formats, etc.

* User request: it is now possible use a unique
instance of XXE to open all your XML documents
(for example, by double-clicking on their
icons in the file ``explorer'').

This option is not enabled by default. Use the
Options dialog box, General tab to enable it.
Linux users: this option also works fine when
used from the command line (that is, "xxe
mydoc.xml &").

* User request: it is now possible to change the
base font size of XXE menus and dialog boxes.
Use the Options dialog box, General tab to do

Note that this orthogonal to changing the base
font size used to display styled documents
(Options dialog box, Style tab).

Clarification: the font size used everywhere
in XXE (GUI, CSS, etc) is expressed in
``Java[tm] points''. ``Java[tm] points'' are not
the same as points used by the operating
system and by non-Java applications. They are
much smaller: 16 ``Java[tm] points'' are
roughly equivalent to 12 real-world points on
a 96DPI screen (1 real-world point = 1/72

* User request: it is now possible to change the
language used in XXE menus and dialog boxes;
for example, force the use of English on a
machine where the default locale is German.
Use the Options dialog box, General tab to do

* In the XXE status bar, at the right of the
message area, you'll find a new button which
can be used to display a dialog box containing
last messages reported by XXE.

These messages are sorted by category. One of
the most useful category is "Command
Execution" which contains the messages
reported during the execution of the last
command. Commands such as DocBook|Convert
Document|Convert to PDF are really verbose,
that's why this category is so useful.

Previously, this dialog box was only
accessible by right-clicking in the message
area of the status bar.

* Installation of XXE plug-ins has been slightly
simplified. Plus a single archive containing
the XFC, FOP, Batik and Jimi
plug-ins for XXE is now available for download
in the .tar.gz or in the .zip format.

Technical details about the enhancements (for
local gurus):

* Enhancements related to the support of images
are implemented using the following

+ New image-viewport() CSS pseudo-function,
which implements an advanced image
viewport. Simpler image() CSS
pseudo-function is still supported. See
XMLmind XML Editor - Support of
Cascading Style Sheets (W3C CSS).

+ New commands setImage, extractImage,
resizeSVG. See XMLmind XML Editor -

+ New process command child elements
extract and convertImage. See XMLmind XML
Editor - Commands.

+ New configuration element imageToolkit.
See XMLmind XML Editor -
Configuration and Deployment.

* The XInclude elements generated by XXE to
represent modular document now conform to
the latest W3C candidate recommendation
(13 April 2004).

The main change is that fragment identifiers
must not be used in the href attribute of an
xi:include element. For example:
<xi:include href="VATrates.html#germany_vat"/>
must be specified as
<xi:include href="VATrates.html" xpointer="ger

Of course, all these technical details are
transparent for the user. However, it is
recommended to reopen modular documents
created using previous versions of XXE and to
save them back to disk using XXE V2.7. This
will ensure that the modular documents created
using XXE are interchangeable with other
XInclude-aware applications.

* Added support for CSS proprietary property
collapsed-content-align. This property
specifies how the collapsed-content image is
to be horizontally aligned.

* Added option [reopenIfNewer] to command
XXE.open. This makes a macro such as:

<command name="editXMLSource">
<command name="XXE.save" parameter="[ifNeeded]"/>
<command name="run" parameter='emacs "%D"'/>
<command name="XXE.open" parameter="[reopenIfNewer]"/>
really usable compared to previous version
which used option [reopen].

* Upgraded the FOP FO processor plug-in to
FOP 0.20.5.

Note that this version is different from the
stock FOP 0.20.5 found at
http://xml.apache.org/fop/. It has been
modified by XMLmind to compile with Batik
1.5.1. Therefore, despite substantial efforts
from our part, we know that we have broken
things in FOP (at least, conversion to
PostScript when the FO document contains or
references SVG graphics and
strokeSVGText=false which is an option of the
PDF renderer).

* The DocBook-specific XSLT extensions written
by Norman Walsh (i.e. docbook-xsl-saxon.jar)
are now enabled in the DocBook XSL Stylesheets
and in the Slides XSL Stylesheet.

Bug fixes:

* Removed odd behaviors when typed text (or
pasted text) replaced the text selection.

* Command include didn't work properly when the
included document module was itself modular
through the use of XIncludes.

* It was not possible to create or modify on a
WebDAV server, documents with filenames
containing spaces and non-ASCII characters.
Note that there are still problems with Apache
mod_dav and non-ASCII characters because the
Java[tm] runtime and mod_dav differ in the way
non-ASCII characters should be encoded.

Possible incompatibilities:

* An author now needs to double-click on a image
in order to display the dialog box which
allows to change it. Previously, an author
needed to right-click on the image to do the
same thing.

Note that now right-clicking on a embedded
image (i.e. SVG or binary image encoded in
base64Binary) displays a contextual Edit menu
having additional entries such as "Save Image
As" or "Resize SVG Graphics".

* Plug-in archives downloaded from the
XMLmind site must now be unzipped in
C:\Document and Settings\user\xxe2\ (~/.xxe2/
on Unix) or in XXE_install_dir/.
Previously, they had to be unzipped in
C:\Document and Settings\user\xxe2\plugin\
(~/.xxe2/plugin/ on Unix) or in

* The default value of new CSS property
collapsed-content-align is auto, which means
that the collapsed-content image must be
horizontally aligned just like the normal
content it represents. Previously, XXE behaved
like if property collapsed-content-align was
implicitly set to center.


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