The perfect vision idea is for an editor that displays the article just as it would be on the Web site and that lets you edit it in place. We have estimated that as being quite difficult. The best way we can think of to do it would be to use a RichTextPane in a Windows Form and to render all the XML into that pane. Even then, we couldnt do a really good job.
The Web site is generated using XSLT. Briefly, XSLT is a langauge from the XML family that specifies a transformation from XML into essentially any other format. The particular format Ive chosen is, of course, HTML so that I can display the articles on the Web site. As well see when we look at it in more detail, that transformation is rather complex, in two regards: First, the semantic tags, such as <sect1>, with its embedded <title> tag, get translated into some moderately complex HTML. In principle, it can be very complex, and right now, some of it is pretty tricky. Second, the rendering of HTML is itself quite complex. The XProgramming Web site layout includes tables, graphics, horizontal rules, and a variety of fonts. To look good, our program would have to know enough about both the XSLT and HTML rendering to produce all the right layouts, fonts, and so on. This is all possible, but it would be expensive. The customer cant afford that; we need a better idea.
One possibility is to have a separate preview pane, with a Web browser in it. At this stage in the process, I couldnt estimate that one, but it seems that it shouldnt be too difficult. I need to find out more so that my customer can decide whether to order the feature.