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Using Hotmetal Pro with RXML
HOW-TO Provided by Jeffrey L. Fishbein

One of the nice features about Softquad's Hotmetal Pro HTML editor is its ability to "learn" new markup. In other words, you can teach Hotmetal to recognize - and even validate - RXML code.

For those not familiar, Hotmetal Pro is a Windows-based visual editor from Softquad. Version 6.0 shipped in October 1999, but the features outlined below are present, to some extent, in versions 4.0 and 5.0 as well (version 4.0 offers less control over layout). For more information about this editor, visit http://www.hotmetalpro.com.

Hotmetal's HTML and attribute import wizards make the process fairly painless, although advanced users may want to tweak the display (affects source code and tags-on views and the layout of the text when the file is saved). Different Roxen users may want the same tag to appear different ways, and the code examples included with this readme are simply set to my preferences.

To import RXML more easily when working on client sites, I made up an HTML file that included many Roxen tags, with every possible attribute listed for that tag. I opened the HTML file in Hotmetal, and the wizards correctly gathered all the information and built the original rules and display files on the fly. Editing the rules/display attributes within Hotmetal varies based on the version you are using; all of them are SGML-based text files than can be edited in Wordpad or a similar text processor.

Hotmetal uses two files to store the information necessary to accept and validate custom markup - a rules file and a display file. Assuming you installed to the default folder, they are:

\Program Files\Softquad\HoTMetaL PRO 6\Display\hmpro6.css and
\Program Files\Softquad\HoTMetaL PRO 6\Rules\hmpro6.ux

For version 5.0, substitute 5 for 6 in the above arguments. For version 4.0, there is no CSS file, just a UX file, located in the Display folder.

Included with this readme are sample rules and display files for Hotmetal Pro 5.0 and 6.0. Place them in the appropriate directories as shown above, and then launch Hotmetal Pro. When you open a page with RXML markup, it will be validated and displayed according to the rules. If there is an unrecognized tag or attribute, you will be prompted to correct or delete the tag, or modify the rules file with a wizard.

DISCLAIMER: I do not provide support for Softquad products. This is intended as a helpful tutorial, and no guarantees accompany the above instructions - perform at your own risk!


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