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7064Re: [XSL-FO] Why XSL-FO? Any WYSIWYG tools?

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  • G. Ken Holman
    Dec 23, 2005
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      At 2005-12-23 08:55 -0800, Peter Wu wrote:
      >Why not write my data out to ODF, let the users change
      >it and reformat it any way they like using an open
      >source tool like OpenOffice.org and then export it to
      >PDF (or any other format) using the export filters
      >built right into the tool?

      That wouldn't have worked August 2004 for me when my customer used my
      XSL-FO stylesheets to print 3,000,000 pages in creating 60,000
      customized and individualized 50-page books. Every book was unique
      and personalized.

      A large team did the database management and XML data preparation,
      and another team did the printing, binding and distribution, but only
      one person was needed to produce the XSLT/XSL-FO stylesheets that
      were used. A group of graphic artists specified the layout and
      organization of the pages by creating a prototype that was signed off
      by management. From that prototype I wrote the stylesheets.

      I've also heard of XSL-FO being used in the monthly production of
      consumer utility bills where thousands of bills are printed on a monthly basis.

      I think the general answer is that if you have a need where you "let
      the users change it and reformat it any way they like using an open
      source tool like OpenOffice.org" then you aren't in a position where
      XSL-FO is giving any benefit and therefore it shouldn't be used.

      It isn't a panacea ... I don't know anyone who claims XSL-FO solves
      *every* formatting problem ... it just solves some problems very very
      well. I don't know of it being used in a situation where the end of
      formatting is subject to manipulation, because that surely isn't what
      it was designed for.

      And I can't think of a better open and unencumbered technology with
      which to solve the problems it was designed for.

      If you need final-form manipulation, I think ODF sounds ideal since
      it is an unencumbered format soon with numerous supporting
      applications and vendors.

      I hope this helps.

      . . . . . . . . . . . Ken

      --
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