The goals of this page are...

  • to be a comprehensive list of DocBook-aware editor programs

  • to distinguish which programs are included in Ubuntu
  • to present this information in a consistent format
  • please try to stick to the format thank you Smile :)

The questions that I am trying to help you to answer for yourself are...

  • How easy or hard is it going to be for me to get this program?
  • How easy or hard is it going to be for me to install this program?
  • How much help am I going to need and will I be able to get it?
  • Will the look and feel of the app be comfortable to me?

Test Suite

You can find many sample documents in the DocBook SourceForge CVS Repository which may be useful to exercise program features:


These programs are available from the Ubuntu package repositories. Packages in the "main" repository should be well supported by the Ubuntu community. Packages in the "universe" repository are contributed by smaller groups or individuals and may not be as well-supported.



emacs + nxml



  • repository: main
  • environment: KDE
  • homepage: http://kate.kde.org/

  • install: kate kate-plugins

  • community: http://kate.kde.org/contact.php

  • comments: installed by default with Kubuntu
    • great option for kate, use it for all my editing
    • code folding / unfolding is handled very nicely



  • repository: universe
  • environment: Qt / xforms
  • homepage: http://www.lyx.org

  • install: lyx

  • community: http://www.lyx.org/internet/

  • comments: LaTeX oriented but can import / export DocBook

    • What You See Is What You Mean (WYSIWYM) works beautifully
    • templates seem to be broken at the moment


OpenOffice.org Writer

  • repository: main
  • environment: (originally Java, but now ?)
  • homepage: http://www.openoffice.org

  • install: openoffice.org

  • community: http://support.openoffice.org/index.html

  • comments: OOo3 Writer allows to save (File/Save as…) any document (ODF or html) as docbook (defaults to an "article", not a "book") and reopen it for editing. The structuration of the docbook (sections) depends on the systematic use of the Heading 1, 2, 3, etc. of the word processor.


  • repository: main
  • environment: KDE
  • homepage: http://quanta.kdewebdev.org/

  • install: quanta

  • community: http://quanta.kdewebdev.org/bugs.php

  • comments: looks similar to kate, but has some nice tools for validation etc.
    • doesn't have the DocBook 4.3 XML DTD out of the box

    • no missing dependencies in Kubuntu dapper
    • in Ubuntu dapper, a few dependency problems
      • a few needed packages are not installed by "apt-get quanta"
      • installing kubuntu-desktop is one easy way to fix it
      • I should try to find out what extra packages I needed to install
        • then I should report it as a bug!
    • on Ubuntu dapper, sometimes it freezes for me
    • excellent tutorial http://quanta.kdewebdev.org/tutorials/quanta-docbook/quanta.html


vim + xmledit


These programs are not available in the Ubuntu package repositories. Some packages may not be included due to licensing restrictions. Perhaps you would like to volunteer to package one of these programs for Ubuntu? There is certainly nothing wrong with using these programs, but you may need to turn to their own user community if you need assistance.

Butterfly XML

Serna Free - Open Source XML Editor

jEdit + XML / XmlIndenter / XQuery / XSLT / JTidyPlugin


Commercial Applications

These programs require you to pay money for a license, but usually included in that price is professional support from the program vendor. Several of these programs also have a Lite version with several features disabled. Lite versions are usually free for personal use but restricted.

Editix XML Editor (EditiX)

Exchanger XML Editor (EXE)

oXygen XML Editor


  • environment Java / Eclipse
  • component: Eclipse
  • homepage: http://www.xmlbuddy.com/ (XMLBuddy Pro)

  • lite: http://www.xmlbuddy.com/ (XMLBuddy)

  • community: ?
  • comments: looks like it could be a little old (2003?) but will give it a try
    • if the company name was "boca loca" that would mean "crazy mouth" in Spanish

XMLmind XML Editor (XXE)

Dead Projects

These are programs which appear to be abandoned by the author. I have included them here to answer the question, "But what about program <X>?" If you are a developer and you really like the program, perhaps you could contact the author to ask about resuming development or creating a fork.


conglomerate (last news in 2005)

Editor Components

Peeking at the source code, I found there is similarity between many of the programs because they are based on the same widget set or editor component. For example SciTE and Geany are both based on the Scintilla code editor component, while bluefish and gedit are based on the GtkSourceView component. The component that is used controls how the editor displays and manages code folding and syntax highlighting for example. I think it would be a useful exercise to identify the editor component used by each application.

To Do List

Programs to add


DocBookEditors (last edited 2012-03-26 17:40:40 by g-schwartzmann)