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XML Editors

To create the XML documents we'll use in this book, all you need is a text editor of some kind, such as vi, emacs, pico, Macintosh's BBEdit or SimpleText, or Windows Notepad or Windows WordPad. By default, XML documents are supposed to be written in Unicode, although in practice you can write them in ASCII—and nearly all of them are written that way so far. Just make sure that when you write an XML document, you save it in your editor's plain text format.

Using Windows Text Editors

Windows text editors such as WordPad have an annoying habit of appending the extension .txt to a filename if they don't understand the extension you've given the file. That's not a problem with .xml files because WordPad understands the extension .xml. However, if you try to save, for example, an XML-based User Interface Language document with the correct extension, .xul, WordPad will give it the extension .xul.txt. To avoid that, place the name of the file in quotation marks when you save it, as in "scrollbars.xul".

However, it can be a lot easier to use an actual XML editor, which is designed explicitly for the job of handling XML. Here's a list of some programs that let you edit your XML:

You can see XML Spy at work in Figure 1-6, XML Writer in Figure 1-7, XML Notepad in Figure 1-8, and eNotepad in Figure 1-9.

Figure 1-6Figure 1-6 XML Spy editing XML.

Figure 1-7Figure 1-7 XML Writer editing XML.

Figure 1-8Figure 1-8 XML Notepad editing XML.

Figure 1-9Figure 1-9 eNotepad editing XML.

Now that we've gotten an overview of creating XML documents, what about XML browsers? The list is more limited, but there are a few out there. See the next topic.

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