<oXygen/>: an essential tool!
By bblfish on Jun 14, 2006
The last time I worked with XSLT style sheets was close to a year ago. So when I had to write a transform from atom to my Atom OWL rdf ontology I had forgotten pretty much everything I had learned before. I tried using Firefox's inbuilt xslt transform capability, but that was of very little use, as it was exceedingly difficult to understand what was wrong with my script. Searching around for a better way to debug my xslt I came upon oXygen an xml/xslt/xpath editor, and what a difference did that make! I just have to say I would never have been able to get my work done without it this fast.
oXygen has all the tools one expects from an IDE: refactoring, inline documentation, debugging even. While writing a transform one can click on part of the output, and oXygen highlights what part of the input document that output corresponds to, and what transformation led to that output. The inline error correction mechanism and documentation provides immediate feedback which guided me through the XSLT 2.0 spec fluidly. With a little bit of extra help from Bob DuCharme's excellent xslt 2.0 articles that was all that was needed.
oXygen is not open source software. It is free as in beer for a month. But for good quality tools such as this I am really happy to pay.
After all that's what Java is also about: enabling people to make a living from their work. I
can see myself easily buying it.
Amazingly enough it has even led me to enjoy xml again!