Finally getting some time to study XML in VB 6 and ASP 3.0 at work, and I'm hoping to replace some code that's been writing to a, urm, "homebrew formatted" text file in the meanwhile.

One of the scary ASPfriends listservs, review-tools, had a member ask for xml editing tool recommendations yesterday. With three votes in, the current winner is XML Spy. Screengrabs of the editor in action are hard/impossible to quickly find on the site, so I surfed over to a review of a recent version of XML Spy at PC Magazine.

Here's a quote:
Loaded with tools, wizards, inspectors, and editors, XML Spy 4.3 is a true IDE. When you launch the program, no fewer than six windows pop up...

This concerns me. I'm admittedly a newbie to the intricacies of XML, but what's there to IDE [I mean "IDE" in the sense of "verbing weirds language"]? And why are six windows such an inherently good thing? I realize XSL and XPath and friends are a little esoteric when you're not coming from a regexp background, but a six window IDE?

The whole point of XML, as I understand it -- and believe it should be, is that we finally have a standard means of pushing zeroes and ones that are not only easily read by a machine, but also by humans! An XML editor shouldn't have six windows. The editor should simply have some shortcuts to put the tags around the content. You shouldn't have to type every key when those keys can be easily and accurately anticipated. At the same time, you shouldn't need tons of overhead to read and understand your XML file.

I've never quite understood the whole XML "esoteria" business. Why we don't just use ANSI-92 SQL to access XML files is entirely beyond me. Guess I should finish reading the review and start learning some "esoteria" before I stick ye olde foote in ye olde mouthe.