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7054Why XSL-FO? Any WYSIWYG tools?

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  • hedley.finger@myob.com
    Dec 22, 2005
      I have been lurking on this list for several months now after reading the
      W3C specs. So I have a couple of questions for you experts.


      I realise this question is like asking the pope if we really need the
      Catholic church, but here goes.
      It seems to me that XSL-FO is an XML equivalent of Word's RTF or
      FrameMaker's MIF. I realise that
      XSL-FO is only a temporary way-station on the way to outputting to print
      via PDF, so is inherently disposable
      once you have your required output.

      But wasn't the great promise of XML that it separated content from
      formatting? And weren't CSS and XSL designed
      to supply that formatting externally to the XML content file? Once you
      have transformed your content into an XSL-FO file,
      you have effectively eliminated all semantic tagging, so you can't modify
      the file and replicate it back to the XML original.

      So why not develop CSS or XSL for print formatting? Why introduce a
      cumbersome and verbose alternative instead
      that replicates all the functionality of these formatting languages --
      while admittedly adding extra pagination capabilities?

      CSS3 promises to add the required pagination capability, and at least one
      renderer, Prince, uses CSS2 with extensions
      for this purpose. So can someone tell me what the justification for
      XSL-FO is?


      Having questioned the whole rationale for XSL-FO, I thought I would go for
      broke by asking the list's advice about
      suitable WYSIWYG designers or editors for developing XSL-FO stylesheets
      interactively. It appears that XSL-FO
      is here to stay, so it is probably prudent to add the relevant skills to
      my existing publishing experience. I figured that
      developing stylesheets via a GUI and then examining the code would get me
      up to speed faster.

      Can any users of WYSiWYG editors recommend those I should investigate?


      Hedley Finger
      Technical Communications Tools & Processes Specialist
      MYOB Australia <http://myob.com/au>
      P.O. box 371 Blackburn VIC 3130 Australia
      12 Wesley Court Tally Ho Business Park East Burwood VIC 3151 Australia
      Tel. +61 3 9222 9992 x 7421, Mob. (cell) +61 412 461 558

      © MYOB Technology Pty Ltd 2005
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