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At XML2003 (which I wish I had attended if I hadn’t had something better to do) James Clark presented (and of course Uche reported it) nXML, a new XML editing mode for GNU Emacs. “The goal is to provide the user with as many cues as possible to the user as to well-formedness and validity, without interfering with the basic text editing.” That is pretty cool. My biggest complaint working in vim is that I usually fire off a command line instruction to validate the document. As I’m often editing XML during a meeting this interupts my work flow and often the feedback, an error at a given line number, forces me to loose focus on what I am working on to go back and correct it. If I was using this as my editor instead I could correct my errors as I make them which would help me turn around my documents much quicker.

Of course that means I would have to learn emacs. Giving up VI will be hard, but I haven’t found a way to get text based XML editing this sophisticated in it. Time to grow some new fingers for those multikey emacs macros…

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  1. DJ Adams
    Once a vi(m) user, always a vi(m) user. And the same goes for entrenched Emacs users too. I know of few people (well, none) that have made the move (in either direction) and stayed with the new editor for long after.

    I tried to make the move a long time ago, but came back.

    I wish you luck 🙂



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