An open source extensible markup language (XML) editor is an application used by programmers to ease the process of visualizing and testing XML coding. The program is open source, so the user wanting to make full use of the application should download a program built in a coding language he or she understands. Another important aspect of an open source XML editor is the ability to validate XML. Users can make XML documents without an open source XML editor; for this reason, most editors come with testing environments that make them very useful. Drag-and-drop editing will allow the user to move and seamlessly attach entire sections of code.
Open source programs are made so users can manipulate their source code. To get the most use out of an open source XML editor, either by adding new modules or customizing the program, the user should download an editor built in a language he or she understands. If this is impossible, the user should look for an XML editor with a vast user community, because there will usually be developers who can build new modules or help users with problems or customizations.
Most programming languages have valid and non-valid code; valid code works with the code’s standards, while non-valid code works but may be buggy, may not be used by most programmers or may introduce problems in coding structure. To ensure the XML is valid, the open source XML editor should come with a validating tool that can search through the code and ensure everything is standard. Validation also protects consistency and quality of the XML structure.
Users can make XML documents with a simple text-editor, but this method takes a lot of time and can create sloppy work. With this method, the user has to code the XML, save a sample document, open it in an Internet program and see if everything functions correctly. An open source XML editor with a testing environment instantly displays the code in the program as if it were placed in an Internet application. This cuts down on coding time and helps the user visualize small changes so he or she can perfect the structure.
XML is made in a map-like structure with different sections full of tables, paragraphs and other information. An open source XML editor with drag-and-drop editing will make it easier for the user to move entire sections of the map from one area to another, without accidentally forgetting some code. Just like the testing environment, this also helps the user visualize changes to the XML.