Verbosio first milestone: what would you expect?

Theoretically, I could put out an initial milestone of Verbosio, my prototype XML editor, for general consumption if I spent a week or two finishing up the bare minimum functionality. But that would leave a lot of potential users (particularly the Mozilla development community) very disappointed in Verbosio. It would have rudimentary editing capability, and that’s it.

Besides, I keep having ideas that just can’t be ignored. Yesterday, I chatted on #developers about syntax checking for JavaScript source and possibly CSS stylesheets as well. (XML’s equivalent is well-formedness.) Properly designed components could tell you if your document is unusable. This evening, I realized that the buttons for selecting nodes from a toolbar would be better done with images and tooltips than wordy labels, so I started designing a set of simple (I hope!) button images in SVG. I’ll convert those to PNG images later. The new idea stream just goes on and on.

Then there’s the dreaded Verbosio Manual, which I absolutely have to write. In creating the Verbosio architecture, I’ve diverged a little ways from traditional XUL application development. No one will write extensions for Verbosio if they can’t understand how. The model I’ve built for extension development is a little more rigorous than I suspect most extension developers are used to, and it may not fly.

Plus, glazou has finally indicated his prototype XML editor, ETNA, is starting to come together. I really wouldn’t mind being a beta-tester for that, or maybe even an alpha-tester.

I’ve talked about Verbosio for months now on my blog. I want your opinion: where in its evolution would you expect a XML editor project to be, before you wanted to touch it and work with or on it? I’m not talking to end-users here, I’m talking to the development community. I want to do an initial release at the right moment, but I don’t know when that is from a technical standpoint.

3 thoughts on “Verbosio first milestone: what would you expect?”

  1. How about joining forces and merging your work into ETNA ?
    (From Alex: That thought has been foremost on my mind. I haven’t been able to contemplate it seriously, as I haven’t yet seen what he’s cooking, and he hasn’t seen what I’m cooking.
    I’m not sure I care for the name, though… 😉 )

  2. I had written a prototype WYSIWYG XML editor in Java some years ago (it’s still on SF somewhere), but had to stop for lack of time and because debugging Swing was giving me headaches 😉
    I am now part of Apache Forrest http://forrest.apache.org/ and am very interested in an XML editor for editing documents to feed to Forrest.
    All this said, I would warmly suggest you to make testable builds available ASAP, using the “release early, release often” mantra, with a big disclaimer on top saying that it’s unusable, only for developers, “use at your own risk”, etc.
    This would make it possible for people like me to test it and give feedback. IMHO it’s important to have it early, especially with XML editing which can become difficult from a usability standpoint, as you have correctly pointed out on your blog.
    Come on, show it! 🙂

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