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[ANN] New XML Text Editor in Visual Studio

 
 
Chris Lovett
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      07-01-2004
Announcing: New XML Text Editor in Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1
Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1 contains a completely new XML Text Editor, built
on top of the core text editor provided by Visual Studio. It is entirely
written in C# and leverages all the cool stuff provided by the System.Xml
..NET assembly. The XML editor provides support for editing XML and DTD
content, including special support for XSD and XSL and includes the
following handy features:

a.. Full syntax coloring for all XML and DTD syntax.
b.. Well formedness checking while you type, with red squiggles and error
list.
c.. Intellisense based on any DTD, XDR and XSD schemas.
d.. Validation-while-you-type with blue squiggles and error list.
e.. Auto-completion of namespace declarations, end tags and attribute
value quotes.
f.. Support for xsi:schemaLocation and xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation
attributes.
g.. Schema picker dialog for overriding schemas used for validation, which
is then remembered as a document property in your solution.
h.. Schema cache for commonly used schemas with standard set provided out
of the box. You can easily add your own schemas here or edit the existing
ones to constantly improve your XML editing experience.
i.. Smart Formatter that is more than a pretty printer. It honors and
formatting of attributes that you may have done by hand and it fixes up the
most common mistakes people make in XML, like unquoted attribute values.
j.. Smart indenting based on XML element depth.
k.. Inline expand/collapse support.
l.. Easy navigation between start and end tags using brace matching
command (Ctrl+]) .
m.. Brace highlighting so you see which tags are being closed as you type.
n.. Goto Definition command for navigating between elements and their
associated DTD, XDR or XSD schema definitions. This command can also
navigate from an entity reference to the entity definition in the DTD.
o.. Tool tips that popup showing xsd:annotations for the element or
attribute under the mouse.
p.. XSL and XSD compilation errors while you type, providing even more
error checking that can be represented in the schemas alone.
q.. Show XSLT Output command available on any XML or XSLT file.
XSD Schema Inference
The editor also provides a handy command named "Create Schema" which does
one of three things:

1.. Convert associated DTD to XSD
2.. Convert associated XDR schema to XSD
3.. Infer a schema from the XML
This is by far the easiest way to get started with designing an XSD schema.

XSLT Debugging
In non-Express SKU's only, this feature gives you a powerful XSLT debugger,
fully integrated into the overall Visual Studio debugging experience so you
can step from C# code directly into the XSLT transform itself and back out,
or from XSLT out to extension objects and back. It also provides a "Debug
XSL" command on XML editor toolbar to start debugging directly from XML or
XSL file.

Once debugging has started the standard Visual Studio debugging menu is
available including special support for the following:

Setting and clearing breakpoints, at the node level (as opposed to
line level).

Locals window that shows XSLT variables and parameters that are in
scope.

Call Stack window that shows XSLT template stack.

Deep VS Integration & Extensibility
All the advanced core text editor commands and configurability is available,
for example:
a.. Configurable colors using standard Tools/Options/Environment/Fonts
and Colors property page.
b.. Integrated text editor settings (Tools/Options/Text Editor/XML) for
general, tabs and miscellaneous settings.
c.. Support for the new Visual Studio 2005 "Import/Export Settings"
feature.
Support for multiple-views over the same buffer. In Visual Studio 2003, the
XSD designer and grid views were only available from a tab at the bottom of
the document window, which means you could not view both ways at the same
time. This limitation has been removed, and each different view is now a
full fledged document window.

Custom XML designers can also be registered per file extension and/or XML
namespace URI, which is how the Visual Studio XSD designer, DataSet
designer, and the Grid View are associated with the XML editor. Anyone can
now register an XML designer for a given namespace and the XML editor will
automatically provide a View Designer menu item for invoking that designer.
In fact, if you are planning on building an XML designer, I'd love to chat
with you about integrating it with our new XML text editor. (You should be
able to figure out my email address from the anti-spam from-address).

All feedback is welcome!

XML Editor team,
Microsoft.


 
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