Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Hands on: open-source scripting environment Komodo Edit 4.3

ActiveState announced the release of Komodo Edit 4.3 last week, the first version of the cross-platform programming tool to be distributed as open source. Komodo Edit is now tri-licensed under the MPL, GPL, and LGPL, just like Firefox. Through the OpenKomodo initiative, ActiveState has been working closely with Mozilla developers and the open-source software community in an effort to create an open platform that can provide a foundation for scripting and web application development tools.

There are a few competing open source tools that don't have quite so broad a scope but are still worth mentioning. For Python development, I think that Eric3 (it has an excellent graphical debugger) and PIDA (it has real Vim integration) are both pretty darn good. For web development, I think the KDE-based Quanta editor is the best open source solution. KDE also has a pair of cool graphical debuggers for JavaScript and XSL...

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XML and Modeling

Data modeling is a big thing at Burton Group - a significant amount of the airtime expended in the ether around the virtual water cooler is devoted to teasing out the way that models interact, the best language for expressing such models and what characteristics best define a good model. In a way this isn't surprising - many of the people within the organization are former application or systems architects, and as such have a common belief that nonetheless is one that application developers don't necessarily share: before you write a single line of code, you should have a reasonably deep understanding of what particular piece of the real world you are attempting to model in that code.

Schematron was set up as one of a set of schema languages by ISO, specifically, ISO/IEC 19757 - Document Schema Definition Languages (DSDL) - Part 3: Rule-based validation - Schematron. Schematron was originally intended to be parsed by XSLT (or XSLT 2), and indeed this is still the simplest implementation, but there are also increasingly a number of stand-along Schematron validators written in Java and C##.

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