Archive for 2007

Up and still coding

I'm spending my holidays in Montreal. With my old laptop, I cannot use Eclipse or Netbeans, so I took few hours to learn emacs. I am satisfied with it : I can chat on IRC, play some music, commit to SVN, program without leaving emacs!

I am working on the users transformation profiles. There are still few bugs in there.

I will be working on the Outline Viewer soon. I have to rewrite the "Save action behaviour" and few other parts. There's still no window for the users settings. I wonder how I am going to implement it as almost everything is now a plugin in XPontus.

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2008 ultimatum

I plan to release a snapshot version of XPontus 1.0.0-pre1. XPath support has been added. Here is the development status.

The core IDE
Some basic text editing features are still missing.

  • As I moved from local filesystem usage to commons-vfs for filesystem abstractions, you cannot save a document yet.
  • Printing bugs present in 1.0.0-rc3 will be fixed. Some people reported that they can't print multiple pages. In Ubuntu to be able to print you have to downgrade your version of cups to 1.2.8(cups or java bug??).
Expression evaluator plugin (WORK IN PROGRESS)
The expression evaluator plugin allows you to use 3 engines to evaluate expression
  • The xpath1 module is able to evaluate xpath 1.0 expressions
  • The xpath2 module is able to evaluate xpath 1.0 expressions
  • The xquery module is able to evaluate xquery expressions
Users transformations plugin (WORK IN PROGRESS few bugs)
It allows you to manage transformations profiles and execute them. The following engines are available :
  • Xalan 2.7.0
  • Saxon 6.5.4
  • Saxon 8
  • XQuery
  • STX
Documentation generator plugin (READY)
  • It supports generating documentation from DTDS or XML Schemas. It only supports single files.
  • The XSL documentation generator plugin is not added yet. It depends on my other project Jxsltdoc.
Schema converter/generator plugin (READY)
The schema converter plugin allows you to generate/convert files into differents formats.
Supported formats are :
  • DTD
  • XML Schema
  • Relax NG
  • XML.
XPontus virtual file system plugin (WORK IN PROGRESS)
It allows the editor to open a local or remote files. It will support the following protocols :
  • Local : to open files on a local hard drive
  • Samba : to be able to open documents over a LAN
  • SSH : to edit files located on a SSH server
  • FTP
XPontus themes plugin (WORK IN PROGRESS)
It allows you to use different look and feels for the editor : Windows look and feel, etc.

XPontus icons plugin (WORK IN PROGRESS)
It allows you to use a different icon theme

XPontus plugin's browser (WORK IN PROGRESS)
It allows you to install , remove, update or query available plugins

Validation plugin (READY)
It allows you to validate files. 3 sub-plugins are available for now
  • Simple xml validation
  • Batch XML validation
  • External Schema validation
Lexer plugin (WORK IN PROGRESS)
The lexer plugin is responsible for syntax coloring. For now here is a XML and HTML lexer.

Completion plugin (WORK IN PROGRESS)
It will first be available for XML files which are constrained by a DTD or schema.

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Managing the upgrade

Well I am comparing XPontus 1.0.0-rc3 to the upcoming version to see what is missing or what should be improved.


Working on users transformations

I am working on the user's transformation plugin for XPontus. As the plugin must support different kinds of plugins(JAXP, etc.), I have to think again about it. Here is a mock-up of the interface.

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Everything is going smooth lately. I am done with the Batch Validation plugin and the schema converter/generator plugin.
I will try to get most stuff ready for Christmas and release only a Java Web Start version of XPontus. That version will be called xpontus-snapshot-date. My last effort will be working on the code completion plugin to make it work without looking for performance. The xml outline plugin should also be there....

Simons says "Another coffee, another plugin, maybe another release..."

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Batch Validation Plugin

The Batch XML Validation plugin of XPontus is being worked on. It will be more flexible and efficient than the one implemented in the previous releases.

I am also working on the schema converter plugin


Merry Java Christmas

It's been a long time. I haven't coded for a while. Well I was having a look at Apache Felix, an OSGI framework. I already started writing the plugin architecture of XPontus using JPF. I can't drop JPF now, I have done some stuff with it and I don't have classloader or securitymanager issues with it. Apache Felix looks nice, but I'm not familiar with it yet.

I am done with few plugins and writing some others. Here is the Batch XML validation plugin mockup below. It's implemented as a menubar plugin

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Development halted

My hard drive died but I had a backup of the development copy of XPontus. My dev pc is getting repaired. In the meanwhile I cannot code that much on the laptop which is way too old.


I can see clearly now

XPontus 1.0.0-pre1 might hit sourceforge mirrors in late september. I am almost satisfied with the new architecture. Moving completely to Apache Maven was a late but great initiative.
I haven't added code completion yet. There are also few bugs remaining for syntax highlighting and other stuff. My coffee cup is back and I think I will be able to code a lot these weeks.

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About the new core API of XPontus

I swill spend the next weeks finalizing the core API of XPontus XML Editor. It is going on well, I still need to decide if some stuff needs to be extended by plugins or not. Some code I have written, must get more generic to allow integration of XPontus code in other applications, mostly java text editors applications.
When I am done with the core API, I might publish a snapshot version of the software to get feedback before the official 1.0.0-pre1 release.

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New logo for XPontus

Thanks to a friend from Apama design, XPontus has a brand new logo :p. I am done with mime types handling, it will be done using JAF. The main problem is now creating some plugins for the outline view and the text editor. I will try to look at jedit, netbeans and eclipse to get some ideas.

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About XPontus progress 04/08/2007

I am decided to finish the i18n plugin today. I am not happy with the menubar and toolbar plugins. Those plugins use hashmaps a lot and there is too much code to write for it.

The menubar and toolbar extensions should be configurable via simple xml files.

The screenshot of the day

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Coding and coding...

Coffee is ready, and I am still coding... At this rate, I wonder, if everything will be ready before september for XPontus. I might need to step back and look at the program from a distance to see what I am really missing. The more I code, the more I find it difficult to define most of components as plugins. What should/can be extended?? how easily can it be done?? :p, Well I guess I have to answer that, publish the release and wait for comments.

XML lexer separated plugin in action with syntax highlighting using Javacc

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About XPontus rewrite progress

I am getting somewhere with the plugin framework JPF. I have been able to write plugins so far for the following "stuff":

  • The ioc container to use with XPontus (the default is spring framework container)
  • The menubar : A simple action can be added to the menubar without much hassle
  • The look and feel of the application : This is easily done
The screenshot of the day showing the main window

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I am working on XPontus plugins. When the core architecture is completed, the rest will be almost trivial to add or update. I've been successfull with maven multiproject modules. It is amusing to have 20 projects opened in a Java IDE.

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I am coding a lot for one my projects, JHTMLCleaner. The first beta will be out shortly. I wanted the application to run as

  • an applet
  • a GUI application
  • a servlet
  • a console application
  • an Apache Ant task
The first beta will probably only feature a GUI while I'll be working on other parts. It will also help me by getting quick feedback from users.
In the meantime I'll be thinking about integration with XPontus XML Editor as a plugin.

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I've been working on JHTMLCleaner and XPontus those weeks.

More people seem to support and use XPontus XML Editor on a regular basis. I am working hard on the upcoming 1.0.0 pre1 release. It is taking some time to redesign everything but it is going on well. In the previous releases I wasn't thinking about XPontus integration in other applications and this will be corrected.

JHTMLCleaner initial release should be out in few weeks.

XPontus daily screenshot

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The first pre-release and last maintenance release.

The first pre-release of XPontus XML Editor will be release today or tomorrow. The tests seems ok. I have a little trouble with shell scripts for the jar installer but it will be alright.

It will be the last build of the first code branch of XPontus. I cannot maintain this version anymore. Lots of people asked me all kind of questions about integration, about selling some components of the editor, etc. This cannot be achieved easily without a proper knowledge of the code. Most parts of the current release candidate are tied together.

I am going to keep working only on the development branch of XPontus so that the second pre-release will be code completion enabled. I am designing the new architecture around plugins. It takes time, but when I will be done with it, it will be easier adding new features and other stuff.

Stay tuned

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I am fixing few bugs before releasing the third release candidate. A recent files menu has been added and code indentation has been corrected. I am few days away from releasing it. After some more tests it will be ready.

I am also working hard on the new development branch of XPontus XML Editor which is plugin based. It will be available maybe this summer. Apache Maven is used to manage the project and its sub modules(plugins).

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I will release the rc3 version of XPontus XML Editor next week. The application is pretty stable now but still misses some features.
I will only provide bug fixes to the stable version without new features added. It was a good experience and it showed the limitations and the issues with the way I coded the application.

I am working again on the development release which already have code completion and "of course" lots of bugs! :p . It shouldn't be long to get it done and release a pre1 version, maybe june?

Stay tuned!

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I am taking some time off for now. I will try to get a bug fix release ready for next month which will be likely called rc3 .

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I have been working on a new project called JHTMLCleaner . The software is almost ready. I am expecting to release it in few weeks.
I also received lots of comments about XPontus XML Editor current version. I am working on the next release too, but it will take time to get it done, the way I want it to be.

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I am working on the user interface and code completion of XPontus XML Editor today.

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I am thinking about the new API of XPontus. Most stuff depends on the main window which act sometimes as a wrapper for helper classes. I should get rid of the dependencies upon the main window. I will have to rewrite the API taking into account that the editor must provide extensions points where a plugin might "be plugged".

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The 1.0.0rc2 version of XPontus XML Editor( was released today. I am about to get back working on the development version. Here is the list of features to add and test :

  • xml code completion
  • xpath
  • xquery and stx support for transformations
  • full caching of dtd and schemas
  • better use of the docking framework
  • virtual file system support
  • tree view for xml editing
  • xml code outline view
  • xml signature support
  • api to integrate xpontus into other applications

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Here are the new user interface improvements before the 1.0.0rc2 releases. The tabbedpane now has close icons. On a double click, the document container is maximized.

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The 1.0.0rc2 release of xpontus is ready. I will build the installers this week.
Here are the problems which have been corrected :
- Encoding detection
- Schema validation

Options has been added to customize the token colors.

Among the new features there are :
- auto close of xml tags
- package installers for solaris and freebsd
- dtd and schema caching when validating xml files

The code has been cleaned up and more comments have been added.

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Code completion(based on dtd or schema introspection) is here but still very experimental.
Here are the remaining problems for the upcoming release :
When content assist is enabled, the typing is very slow.

  • Code completion database doesn't process dtd subsets (the parser doesn't ready any sub-dtd)
  • Plugin support is a must as lots of features will be added
  • Some code must be rewritten to take advantage of the docking framework
  • Virtual filesystem support is not complete
  • XML Catalog is incomplete too
  • XPath support doesn't support namespaces yet
  • My other project jxsltdoc is in progress, it will be added as well as a schema documentation tool(xssdoc and dtddoc)

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I finished the outline view to browse code structure and I re-coded lots of classes to make full use of the new docking framework.

The latest screenshot

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I am a little bit late for the release, working on the user interface. I want to second release candidate to be great in terms of user experience, features and usability. It will be a great move towards a full featured XML editor.

Here is a screenshot of the new UI(I am making full use of the docking windows library)

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I added syntax highlighting for XQUERY and DTD today. I will try to complete the code completion for XML the week end with some help from IRC.

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I am now working on code completion. I hope to finish it and test the application before the end of the month. Inserting the end of a xml tag automatically is done, I am working on providing XML completion via schema introspection and it won't take that long.

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The XML lexer is working! I also finished the sql, html, java, dtd and properties syntax coloring.
I am now focusing on the outline view to display the code structure and code completion.

Here is as usual the latest screenshot.

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I Still have a nasty bug with syntax highlighting and multiline comments. This is preventing me from working on code completion.

See the latest screenshot

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I still have few bugs with the xml syntax colorer. Javacc is tough but interesting!

The latest screenshot

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I am almost done with the lexer stuff. Syntax highlighting almost behaves correctly. In few days, I will have a correct syntax colorer for common languages and add errors tooltips.

I have yet to start thinking about the best way to provide code completion. It shouldn't be that hard, but it must be fast!

Here is another screenshot of the syntax colorer

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I am dealing with multiline tokens and I am making some progress. Still have to find a way to set the right amount of text to parse and color the tokens according to their type. The offset of the token is not computed correctly. Sometimes I have text already parsed appearing at strange locations.

I believe I will be able to solve it soon. The next step will be highlight errors and adding code completion.

I must release in the middle of december!

Here is a screenshot of multiline tokens handling

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