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January 24, 2007

An example of good technical writing

Not too long ago, I took a quick look at XMLMind XML Editor (XXE). I downloaded and installed the software, dropped in a couple of existing XML files, and tried to create some new content.

I didn’t like it. Couldn’t get it to do what I wanted.

This week, I ran across Antonio DaSilva’s article about XXE (hi, Tony!). I read the article, then opened up my copy of XXE (still installed). And suddenly, the product worked just fine.

XXE isn’t my favorite XML editor, for the price, it’s a great tool. (The standard edition that I’m using is free.)

There were a couple of bits of information in the article that really helped me. I think the key insight that Tony provided for me was that XXE does not permit your content to be invalid. Thus, if you try to paste an element into an invalid location, the paste action is blocked. I don’t like it, but at least now I understand why the software is behaving the way it does.

Many thanks to Tony for a great article.