Visualizing XML Schemas

I don’t have one of the commercial XML packages at the moment and was casting about for a free visualization technique for a large XML schema when I encountered:


I won’t be trying it on my schema until tomorrow but I thought it looked interesting enough to pass along.

Further details: Visualizing Complex Content Models with Spatial Schemas by Joe Pairman.

This looks almost teachable.


Other “free” visualization tools to suggest?

One Response to “Visualizing XML Schemas”

  1. joepairman says:

    Patrick, thanks for sharing this — how did you get on with trying it out on that large schema? You’ll note I took some shortcuts for readability: chiefly by not expanding the content model for the common block and inline elements in DITA such as fig, ph, and keyword.

    I don’t believe any of the commercial packages offer quite the same kind of single-page view of a document schema, though Radu Coravu of Oxygen commented on that post to show how they offer a nice tree visualization:

    I note that one of your interests is overlapping markup — of course a hierarchical visualization like this wouldn’t handle that any better than does XML itself. Tangentially, though, I’ve been wondering recently whether tool development (and in particular syncing issues) are mature enough now that we could seriously consider adopting Ted Nelson-style layers of content, with content maintained separately not only from formatting but also from semantics. I think one of the advantages would be easier handling of overlapping semantics.