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XML editors which do not have knowledge of specific XML languages cannot provide a very good user interface. For instance, it would be hard to edit HTML documents if the p (paragraph) and a (anchor or link) elements from HTML were displayed in the same way. One is a block element, separating parts of the text, while the other is an inline element, which can be mixed with text. While some (usually data-oriented) XML languages can easily be edited with a tree, a tree user interface does not work so well with other XML languages.

On the other hand, creating a new editor from scratch for each XML language is not the most efficient solution, as at least half of the code will be the same from one editor to another. For instance, all editors have to ensure document validity, and they have to provide ways to edit content with a cursor aware of the XML structure. Common parts of XML editors should be reused.

Daxe is an answer to these questions: it provides all the building blocks for a new XML editor for a specific language, many predefined displays for elements which can be associated to the language XML elements, and ways to extend it further and include it into a larger application.

Daxe configuration files provide an easy way to customize the editor for a given XML language using built-in solutions. The following pages describe how to go beyond what can be done with configuration files, especially to create new display types.

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