XML oXygen Editor Users Meetup

I was in Rockville, Maryland on May 5th for an all day meeting of the DC area oXygen XML Editor users. Hosted by George Bina and Radu Coravu, who outlined the new features in oXygen version 19 released last month.  This meeting was special in that it doesn’t happen every year so I availed myself of an interesting opportunity.

Many Improvements to DITA

DITA reusable components view, insert DITA Key References

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Improvements included converting DITA to PDF using CSS, DocBook 5.1 schema updates and stylesheets, and Markdown, XSLT improvements with Saxon, convert between multiple xsl:if and xsl:choose, using partial XPath paths to create new code and templates, and other refactoring features. Many of the improvements are designed to speed up workflow. TEI Schemas 3.1.0 were updated. Web Author improvements including CMS connectivity.

User Assistance with Schematron

Schematron is a ISO standard (ISO/IEC 19757)–DSDL (Document Schema Definition Language); a very simple schema language less than 10 elements and 20 elements in total; a different kind of schema–defines business rules, not the document structure, the error messages are specified inside the schema. XPath uses Schematron to match and assert; XSLT to extend XSLT based Schematron implementations; and SQF provides quick-fixes to identified issues defined as small scripts annotating the Schematron assertions. Schematron can help you in the authoring phase of a project instead of review time, publishing time, and production time. Identify and fix the problems as early as possible, says George!   Intelligence style guide project for Dynamic Information Model;  https://github.com/dim

Some rules:

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Learn DITA from a Markdown perspective
Markdown is  a text-to-HTML conversion tool for web writers. Markdown recognizes Markdown fragments in DITA topics and convert them automatically to DITA markup. the code is on GitHub: https://github.com/oxygenxml/ditamark. Recognized Markdown patterns include lists, quotes, links, images, tables, and titles.

Schematron Quickfix with SQF can be found here: https://github.com/schematron-quickfix/sqf.  SQF is a simple language to use (only 4 actions!).

Changing  XML with XSLT and XQuery

Implement Author actions and refactoring options

XML refactoring actions allow making repetitive structural changes in XML documents based on specific use cases.

Lightning Talks

There were some short presentations on oXygen XML editor features and applications.

oXygen for training sessions

JATS Support in Oxygen XML Editor

Wendell Piez from Piez Consulting Services provided an overview of JATS support. A wiki is available: http://jatswiki.org/wiki/Tools#JATS_Framework_for_oXygen_XML_Editor .

Testing XSLT

XSpec is a unit test and Behaviour Driven Development (BDD) framework for XSLT and XQuery. https://github.com/xspec/xspec/wiki

Code is available at GitHub: https://github.com/xspec/xspec

Three common ways for testing XSLT: matching scenarios,  named scenarios, and function scenarios.

Discover the Author mode

For development XML based languages like:

Making XML Editable on the Web

XAAS –XML Authoring as Service

oXygen XML Web Author = A REST service to interact with XML content!


  •  URL –pointing to the file to edit
  • ditamap — pointing to a DITA map for editing context
  • … — more parameters are available

Integration is key

The web XML editor DOES NOT EQUAL opening XML to edit in browser. The real power of a web editor can be seen when it is integrated into your workflow.


xproc.org and exproc.org are similar services (GitHub, Travis).

Integration is the key for web XML authoring!

Discover the oXygen Collaboration Platform

Why oXygen Content Fusion?

You need to:

  • collaborate
  • have access to specific tools
  • work within a specific workflow
  • access a repository
  • approve changes before reaching the repository
  • have a less formal way of receiving feedback.

Content Fusion allows you to create a review/collaboration task, share tasks URL with your contributors, and get changes back . There is a Content Fusion Connector plugin for oXygen as well.

Using Saxon JS

Wendell Piez gave a presentation on using Saxon JS.

Future Plans

George Bina outlined future plans for oXygen. The summary can be found here: https://www.oxygenxml.com/events/2017/futurePlans.pdf


Poem Viewer: a DH tool for close reading

Poem Viewer is a data visualization tool for close reading of poems that you can upload.

“Poem Viewer was created as part of the project Imagery Lens for Visualizing Text Corpora. The project explored new visualization techniques for use in large scale linguistic and literary corpora using the collections of the British National Corpus and various smaller collections of poetry. The project was funded as part of the international ‘Digging Into Data Challenge’, funded by the JISC in the UK, and the National Endowment of the Humanities in the USA.”

Using W.B. Yeats poem ‘A Drinking Song’ as an example, the image of the first two lines is given in the following snapshot.


The researcher has the option of manipulating several features: layout and overview, phonetic units and attributes, phonetic features like vowel position and consonant features (voiceless and voice), phonetic relations (e.g. rhyme, end rhyme, alliteration frequency), word units and attributes, and finally, semantic relations.  The orange, blue and grey boxes above represent vowels, consonants and punctuation respectively.   Here is a partial image of the panel of choices available:


Oxford e-Research Centre at the University of Oxford created the Poem Viewer as an experiment in analyzing poetry through data visualization.

If you are interested in more information about this tool, there is an open access article:

Rule-based Visual Mappings – with a Case Study on Poetry Visualization. A. Abdul-Rahman, J. Lein, K. Coles, E. Maguire, M. Meyer, M. Wynne, C. R. Johnson, A. Trefethen, and M. Chen. In Computer Graphics Forum, 32(3):381-390, 2013. [PDF] [BibTex].   A video describing the poetry visualization tool is available. [MP4 video (18.7 MB, audio)]
Thank you to my buddy, Kim Hoffman, for bringing this to my attention.

“There is no such thing as an objective map”

imagenyp   Western part of Asia Minor

From The Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library

James Wan provided the title quote in his thoughtful critique of Google Maps in Terrabyte Incognita: Africa Might Not Look Like You Think It Does.

Using Africa as the test case, he demonstrates how our views of the continent have changed–but not evolved– over the last two hundred years. In the 18th century, there was little known about Africa except for the coastlines. In the 19th century, the a map of Africa, many inland parts still unknown, were divided up among the various European imperialist powers for the purposes of colonization.  Every map is a projection of the creator’s inherent interests:

“No map is completely objective and every cartographer has to make countless decisions over what is more important and what is less so. Some of these choices may be purely technical, some may be issues of historical convention, and some may be informed by ideological assumptions. But these decisions − as invisible as they are in the final product − have to be made and they all fundamentally change how we see the world.”

Johannes Stabius, Johann Heinrich Lambert, Gerardus Mercator, Gall-Peters, Medieval Christian, and Islamic maps all portrayed the world in a different way as they attempted to convert the spherical 3-D Earth into a 2-D map according to their interests. The Mercator map won out (or least is the most common one) yet its distortions are well known (e.g. North America and Greenland look larger than Africa). Mercator was interested in drawing a map that would be useful for seafaring.

Today we have Google Maps, the most popular app in the world.  While Google claims to be objective, any act of creation must come from a beginning set of values, biases, interests, subjectivity, cultural assumptions, and in short, a particular point-of-view.  Wan quotes Jerry Brotton, the author of A History of the World in Twelve Maps:

“Mapmakers have always claimed objectivity,” he says, “and cartographers always imagine they’re creating maps from some omniscient Godlike position. When it comes to Google Maps, however, the reality is that they’re being produced on the west coast of America.”

 What is created will (mis)inform our worldview at some point.  This can be mitigated by understanding the limitations we bring to the project.

Resources of the Day:

34GB of downloadable, chocolately goodness.  Maps are distributed under the Creative Commons License and the OpenStreetMap License.

NYPL MapWarper
MapWarper is a tool for digitally aligning historical maps with today’s maps. KML files included.

Demonstration of Juxta using different editions of an Abelard work

After demonstrating in class the process of finding, loading and comparing two texts in Juxta, I did to create a quick video (6 seconds) using SnagIt to illustrate the different text changes between the Patrologia Latina edition and the Corpus Christianorum edition of Abelard’s work.  I used only a very small section of Expositio in Hexaemeron. For a student working on their dissertation by comparing two different copies of an author’s work, Juxta can be useful in visualizing the differences side by side and may offer insight into patterns hidden.