A place for SGML and XML application developers.

March 23, 2006

oXygen Development Enviornment for XML a multi platform alternative to Altova XML Spy

Filed under: Eclipse,Software,XML,XSL,XSLT — cangione @ 9:44 pm

Downloaded the latest version of the <oXygen> XML IDE last night and was impressed with what I saw. <oXygen> is cross platform and supports both Linux and Windows as well as the Eclipse IDE. One things that I have always like about the Altova XML Spy suite (that they remove from their community edition) is the ability to collapse an element in the edit interface. This comes in really handy when working with complex documents. <oXygen> also has a nice Schema interface, XPATH 2.0 interface and diffing tool.

Altova charges big bucks for all of this functionality. The equivalent functionality in <oXygen> for 1/4 the price, cross platform to boot? Summary good deal!

NOTE: If you are running <oXygen> under Linux you do need a Sun JVM. The JVM that comes with the Fedora Core 4 & 5 distributions is not supported. To make it work in Fedora Core, rename the supplied /usr/bin/java binary to java.old and then include a link called java to the SUN JVM.

How can hiding menu items be a good thing?

Filed under: Rants/Musings — cangione @ 8:40 pm

I have long cursed the day that Microsoft introduced the concept of infrequently used menu items which they hide for you…. unless you request all the menu items by another mouse click. Like I might not want the REDO function. Supposedly this makes the menu interface "cleaner". To any advanced user this is the most annoying freakin invention ever! To make it even worse, the Microsoft interface experts provide no way (that I know of) to turn the "feature" off!

I will be curious to see if this "improvement" was kept in Vista.

March 22, 2006

The Underscore Hack

Filed under: CSS — cangione @ 6:36 pm

We all know that IE is not the best at supporting the web standards. This leads properly coded web pages to look awful at times including this site! My typical web browser is Firefox where the pages on look great. I still have some wayward friends that use IE so I was experimenting with making the pages look better in IE.

There are a couple of different techniques talked about on the web for this problem. The one that I prefer after some experimentation is the Underscore Hack. The hack works because IE is not the brightest browser in the world. An underscore in CSS is designed to act as a comment for that attribute only, and all browsers but IE honor this.

.text {
       margin: 10px;
       _margin: 15px;

NOTE: You have to place the underscore rule after the real attribute since IE sees both but uses the last one it sees.

Firebug Plugin for Firefox

Filed under: Software — @ 2:30 pm

FireBug is a new tool that aids with debugging Javascript, DHTML, and Ajax. Combination Javascript Console, DOM Inspector, and a command line Javascript interpreter.

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