XML News from Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Eclipse Project has released Web Tools 1.0, a collection of XML and Web Services editors for the open source Eclipse IDE. I've not been incredibly impressed with this. As XML editors go, it's pretty weak, certainly not up to the level of Oxygen, for example. Both features and user interface don't seem to be closely tied to how XML is actually edited. Starting with the installation process, you feel like you're fighting with the tool rather than working with it. It's not obvious to me that the programmers working on this had a clear vision of how an XML (or web services) editor should work. Instead it looks like they simply made a checklist of features which were then implemented independently without any real integration between the people working on different pieces. I'd be extremely surprised if any actual user testing was done on this. The whole project makes the classic open source mistake of focusing on how the developers view the project instead of how users see it. Eclipse 3.1.1 is required, but frankly I wouldn't bother. This software is a turkey. Leave it on the farm.