At 09:48 AM 9/11/2007, Kevin Hawkins wrote:
>I've had a second request to change the description of <oXygen/> in
>the TEI wiki ( http://www.tei-c.org.uk/wiki/index.php/OXygen ) to
>have a more neutral point of view. I don't have enough experience
>using the software, especially in comparison with other XML editors,
>to add anything of substance, but if you could help provide more
>information that explains what makes <oXygen/> good (or bad)
>compared to other XML editors, please help us build this page!
I confess I'm the one who made the latest request of Kevin to look at
this page in particular.
I write now both to apologize for butting in (I know the feeling of
some will be "if Wendell cares, why doesn't he get editing
permissions and go for it", and not without reason on their side,
though I have sufficient reason on mine), but more usefully I hope,
to make a humble suggestion regarding how these pages are constructed.
(Please take it for granted that I wouldn't bother if I didn't feel
these pages were immensely valuable.)
In my experience, evaluation of a tool comes down to a "go" or a
"no-go". Either the tool is sufficiently capable for one's purposes
and better than the alternatives, or it isn't. Sometimes a tool
simply isn't ready for prime time: generally we will know this when
no one uses it. Such tools might not even be accommodated with pages
in the wiki. But there is also a wide grey zone of tools that one
user finds suitable but that others don't, for various legitimate but
private reasons. Budget, platform dependencies or religious
persuasion ("I only use open-source software" or "I only use tools
with Mac-conventional interfaces") are only the most obvious of
these. Others include what job(s) are you actually doing ("thanks, I
won't need XQuery over a repository till next year") or various
subtleties including UI requirements ("I can't use a mouse!") or even
matters of aesthetics ("the buttons are ugly!").
Indeed, the grey zone extends to the horizon and beyond, since there
is no XML software application that everyone uses (is there?), and
indeed this is much of the point of XML. Standardizing on platforms
and applications is what we're trying to get away from. Instead, make
your choices based on your requirements for your data, and use the
tools that best serve your particular needs.
So I wonder whether negative comments on any tool shouldn't be
collected separately under a "Gripes" heading or something similar,
if they really have to be there at all. In any case, they don't
belong in the Synopsis, since although they may be informative, they
probably don't apply to everyone, and would therefore tend to be
misleading to those without the experience to judge for themselves.
(It was years ago that oXygen reached the "fast enough" threshold on
my system of the time. As for its "cross-platform interface that
doesn't feel right in any one operating system" ... I hear some
TEIers prefer Emacs.)
I've already offered Kevin help off-list on the oXygen page, in case
there are no more closely involved TEIers who can assist specifically
with this one.
Wendell Piez mailto:[log in to unmask]
Mulberry Technologies, Inc. http://www.mulberrytech.com
17 West Jefferson Street Direct Phone: 301/315-9635
Suite 207 Phone: 301/315-9631
Rockville, MD 20850 Fax: 301/315-8285
Mulberry Technologies: A Consultancy Specializing in SGML and XML