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xmld20 - an XML Schema for d20 gaming systems - intro

With the release of the d20 System Reference Document (SRD) to the Open Source community, the core d20 material is allowed to be released on webpages everywhere and can be used in third-party tools.

The d20-xml project (at Yahoo! Groups) had in mind the idea of specifying a schema for the various sets of d20 data now made available. Unfortunately, I disagree with the way that the project has gone...

As has been discussed on the mailing list for the group, some people insist that the data should be maintained in a human-readable format, while others want the XML to be structured for machine processing. I side with the latter, because my interest is in writing tools for generating d20 output, with human readability of the base data a secondary concern.

It's my belief that XML is not really meant for human consumption. Granted, one of the benefits of XML is the fact that humans can parse it (pretty much), we have XSLT available for turning XML into something else, such as stat blocks for monsters or encounters, or character sheets for characters.


This brings us to another tool, eTools by Code Monkey Publishing. I've seen this program in action, and it's pretty impressive. However, I don't like that the data sets are kept from the user (though it makes sense for a commercial point-of-view), and I find that the tool can be a bit slow at times, has some bugs, and some limitations.

With the way of the world, all commercial products seem to go to the open source world eventually, so the branch project of this xmld20 project will be an open source version of eTools.
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©2002-2017 Wayne Pearson