Re: [xsl] Zero-width Space

Subject: Re: [xsl] Zero-width Space
From: Abel Braaksma <>
Date: Sat, 29 Sep 2007 19:01:30 +0200
Hi Roger,

I've looked around a bit, thinking at first that your question was rather trivial. Appeared I was wrong. I haven't found any editor that shows ZWSP or any other non-visible character, besides standard spaces, tabs and newlines.

I then thought that the highly extensible Eclipse IDE would obviously have something that would show invisible characters. But again: nothing. Someone however did make an effort with the AnyEdit plugin to make spaces, tabs and newlines visible. As of Eclipse 3.3, this feature is a standard of the IDE.

Depending on how important this feature is for you, you may consider extending Eclipse yourself or submitting an improvement suggestion for the "show whitespace" feature. I consider it a miss that the characters that you want visualized cannot be configured. But if you look at the code, it should be real easy to externalize these characters: (search for public class InvisibleCharacterPainter).

But this is not what you are looking for: it is not a ready made editor or IDE that shows the invisible characters on demand (Eclipse treats the ZWSP correctly though, and you can select, copy and edit it, but you cannot see it).

Sorry I couldn't be of more help,

-- Abel Braaksma

Roger Sperberg wrote:
Thanks for the suggestion.

A lot of the time, the text I have already contains the zero-width spaces. And for new text entering the ZWSP with a Khmer keyboard driver is trivial -- hit spacebar for ZWSP and Ctrl-spacebar for a normal space.

In that regard, entering a numeric character reference is considerably more work, since Khmer does not use Arabic numerals. Since the number keys are mapped to Khmer glyphs for 0-9, it would entail switching from the Khmer keyboard to the Western keyboard after every word and then back again for the next word.

Right now, I'm using XML Copy Editor to work on the text and the XML/XSLT when they're together, but properly prepared text requires checking the ZWSP. The goal is simply being able to transform content in a single file into web, PDF or e-book format, both with and without English translation.

In the end, I'd like to do my XML and XSL work in the same editor that
I use for the content, not least so that a fully marked-up text doesn't
go to separate editors for markup and text corrections.

Any editors at all that display non-printing characters for proofing, including the ZWSP?

Roger Sperberg

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