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25 luglio 2011

QXmlEdit 0.5.0: YAXV (Yet Another XSD Viewer)

Filed under: Open Source,QT,qxmledit,xml — lbell @ 20:24

If it is true that a complex idea can be examined under different prospectives, then a XML Schema viewer can be useful. XML Schema concepts can be modeled with a plain text editor, but QXmlEdit in the 0.5 version can help with a new graphical plugin.

What’s really difficult in such a program is to establish a mapping between the images that the program provides and the concepts that the user has in mind when interacting with them. This mapping is even more difficult if the viewer will be transformed in an editor in some future.

The program needs a cut, it is important to determine which are the main concepts to show and what needs to be removed from the scene. If all the objects defined by the language have the same importance, the scene will be filled with a lot of informations, hiding the basic concepts that the user is trying to model, making the visual editor almost useless compared to a text-based editor.

To achieve this goal, some information, especially those relating to the elements and the types must be automatically and silently changed as the user decides to change the relationship graphically.

A small change in terms of visual representation, such as adding an attribute to an element, has great implications in terms of XSD syntax. When the user decides that an element can have an attribute, the semantic change is very small, but for the scheme it may involve the transformation of a simple type in a complex one.

To access the XSD Viewer in QXmlEdit, load a XSD Schema file in the editor, then use the Tools > Plugins > XSD Viewer menu.

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