Applying sXBL to display Chemical Markup Language

The draft SVG's XML Binding Language (sXBL) specification promises to improve the separation of concerns in rendering a variety of markup languages into Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). The development and use of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) vocabularies specific to industries or fields is becoming more and more common. Displaying an XML language instance in a visual format is routinely done for end-user consumption. Viewing an XML instance or a portion of it in graphical format can be a desired feature or a requirement. In this research paper, the application of sXBL for the display of the scientific markup language for chemical data is investigated. The markup language chosen is CML (Chemical Markup Language).

CML is used to describe relationships between atoms and the structure of chemical molecules. Examples already exist of the transformation of CML to SVG and the use of Mozilla's Extensible Binding Language (XBL) to display CML as SVG.

A Resource Description Framework (RDF) format for CML has been proposed in order to better share chemistry information over the Internet as part on the Science Semantic Web effort. An XML User Interface Language (XUL) application was developed to build on the current XML technology building blocks: CML, SVG, RDF and XUL. The XUL CML Viewer displays metadata from a CML RDF file and the graphical representation of the molecules using sXBL.

The aim of this research is to provide examples of applications of sXBL for rendering XML vocabularies and gather information on its applicability, pros and cons for CML.