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XML news and resources for Macintosh users

XMacL archive 2000-03


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30 July 2000

techexplorer Hypermedia browser

Preview release 1 of Version 3.0 of this browser plug-in from IBM enables Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer (versions 4.0 or later) to display documents marked up with TeX, LaTeX, and MathML 1.01 (an application of XML), and adds Macintosh support (requires Mac OS 8 or 9). The download and install work without a hitch. I'm no mathematician, but a quick glance at some example documents designed for techexplorer went smoothly using NN4.74 and IE5.0 (perhaps unsurprisingly, the plug-in had trouble rendering other resources identified as requiring browsers with native MathML support). (undated page)

29 July 2000

The Future via Wireless FileMaker

News from Greg Giese at the Global Energy WAP Page on using FileMaker Pro and Java Server Pages to serve WML (Wireless Markup Language, an application of XML) to cell phones from a Mac. The iMac-powered Global Energy site tells more, and has a page that accepts user-entered information via an HTML-form interface, wraps WML around this submitted content to make a basic WAP page, and returns generated page source for viewing or copying. This concise markup illustration worked well and quickly with some sample text. (28 July 2000)

25 July 2000

db Reports 2.0

This Macintosh report writing application by Aaron Bratcher saves its reports "as XML files by default," according to its downloadable .pdf manual. The manual states that the application sends a single SQL query to a database and generates its reports from the returned data set, which "can be from one or more tables." db Reports supports 4D Server 6.5, ODBC, OpenBase, Oracle, postgreSQL, REALDatabase, and Valentina as data sources (25 July 2000)

19 July 2000

infinity-loop's upCast

I've been playing with infinity-loop's upCast 1.2.6 (free for non-commercial use) and RTF files saved from some old Word (5.1 and 98) documents. upCast looks like a useful tool for making a first pass at converting certain kinds of legacy word-processor documents to rudimentary XML or XHTML.

upCast uses the original file's formatting styles as the basis for generating its XML. Because of this, its automated conversion to an XML file with markup reflecting the logical structure of a document can be only as consistent as was the source file author's use of styles; but a tool like this could still save a lot of work, even if its results need hand-tweaking (or more). upCast also can produce XML markup oriented towards visual display--a more easily accomplished task, if less useful for many purposes--and can output CSS files to approximate Word styles' formatting effects.

upCast's generated stylesheets seem overly faithful to their print-oriented source in their heavy use of absolute point sizes, decimal inch margins, and so on, but again could serve as a really useful first stage of processing. This automated CSS output provides a usable framework for manual conversion of attributes to more web-friendly relative terms such as percentage font sizes and em-based paragraph margins.

upCast requires Apple's MRJ 2.1 or later (2.2.2 is the current version), and its interface uses Sun's Swing! 1.1.1 to achieve a somewhat, albeit less than truly convincing, Mac-like effect. Aside from interface quirks (and a Java error on launch until I moved swingall.jar to the location specified in the MRJ ReadMe--my mistake!), it seems to work quite well (upCast download page last updated 28 June 2000)

11 July 2000

Why He Likes XML

A column by Dave Winer (for XML Magazine and DaveNet, syndicated by Scripting News) introducing some benefits of XML for developers and users of all platforms (10 July 2000)

5 July 2000

FileMaker WAP/WML via Java Web Server on an iMAC

Press release at fmnewswire on a Mac running FileMaker and Sun's Java Web Server to deliver content to cell phones via Wireless Markup Language, an application of XML. WAP is controversial because it requires special markup for display on a specific class of devices, but it's interesting to know of a Mac set up as a server for it (4 July 2000)

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