A Distributed Editing Environment for XML Documents


XML is based on two essential aspects: the modelization of data in a tree like structure and the separation between the information itself and the way it is displayed. XML structures are easily serializable. The separation between an abstract representation and one or several views on it allows the elaboration of specialized interfaces to visualize or modify data. A lot of developments were made to interact with XML data but the use of these applications over the Internet is just starting. This paper presents a prototype of a distributed editing environment over the Internet. The key point of our system is the way user interactions are handled. Selections and modifications made by a user are not directly reflected on the concrete view, they are serialized in XML and transmitted to a server which applies them to the document and broadcasts updates to the views. This organization has several advantages. XML documents coding selection and modification operations are usually smaller than the edited document and can be directly processed with a transformation engine which can adapt them to different representations. In addition, several selections or modifications can be combined into an unique XML document. This allows one to update multiple views with different frequencies and fits the requirement of an asynchronous communication mode like HTTP.

First ECOOP Workshop on XML and Object Technology (XOT'00)