Now on it is just a matter of adding more elements to get a richer tag-set for DocBook till the mid-term evals. The basic infra is all set up (will try to keep improving usability though).
Also added a brand new and better CSS.
On the other side I think I should try and get more community involvement into developing the editor as the number of DocBook elements is *huge*.
I'll start by explaining what beacon is and how it works.
Beacon is a What you see is what you mean editor which relies heavily on XSL for XML to HTML conversions and vice-versa.
Most of the work involved in making a plugin is writing the two XSLs. One is required for converting the XML to HTML so that it can be displayed in the browser. And the other for converting the HTML back to XML. All these operations are done on the server side using PHP (or Python).
Title tags tend to be most unobtrusive here and works well for DOM manipulation which is made even easier thanks to jQuery.
So the user cycle of Beacon is:
new document -> XML -> HTML -> XML
All ajax-y communication is handled by JSON (except for file upload which uses an iframe of course).
Since its a web based it relies completely on Ajax for any post first page load. The UI is pretty much like a desktop Application with Tabs, sidebar etc.
To sum it up, a plugin now requires:
- Couple of XSLs
- Some trivial PHP code
- CSS + some template XMLs
I will write a tutorial on how to make a plugin for docbook next. Will be nice if folks chip in to get in as many tags supported as possible.