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The ever-growing amount of heterogeneous data exchanged via the Internet, combined with the popularity of XML, makes structured document transformations an increasingly important application domain. Most of the existing solutions for expressing XML transformations are textual languages, such as XSLT (Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations) or DOM (Document Object Model), combined with a general-purpose programming language. Several tools build on top of these languages, providing a graphical environment and debugging facilities. Transformations are, however, still specified in a textual way using the underlying language (often XSLT), thus requiring users to learn it. We believe that visual programming techniques are well-suited to representing XML structures and make the specification of transformations simpler. We propose a visual language, called VXT (Visual XML Transformer), for the specification of XML transformations in an interactive environment based on a zoomable user interface toolkit and on two target languages specialised in structure transformations: Circus and XSLT.
Date of Conference: 2001