SDL acquires XML editor Xopus

After a long spending spree -- pretty much on anything XML --  SDL has now acquired small Dutch vendor Xopus. The one thing SDL is interested in: Xopus' XML editor. Because while HTML editors are almost a commodity now (with CKeditor and TinyMCE as dominating choices), editing XML is a lot more complicated.

In fact, it's still not uncommon for authors to have to learn a specific XML syntax in order to be able to write structured content. That may be one of the main reasons standards like DITA have little appeal outside of techdoc. Xopus' web based editor, however, does a reasonable job of keeping the XML abstractions from authors.

That said, any XML editor is far from WYSIWYG. They can't (and maybe shouldn't) be, because structured content tries to take the presentation out of the actual content. So don't be fooled by demos too much -- there are still many challenges in adopting structured authoring.

As for SDL and Xopus, perhaps more importantly: don't think any SDL product now immediately comes with a well-integrated Xopus editor. Integration takes time, and SDL has a lot of very different products. I'm sure they'll be able to demo it soon, but we've noticed that SDL's "integrations" are often quite shallow at first. For now, it's not necessarily an advantage over the competition.

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Len Asprey, Director, Practical Information Management Solutions, and, Author, <i>Integrative Document and Content Management</i>

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