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7066Re: [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 10:34 -0800, you wrote:
      >I've invested a lot of time in XSL-FO. It works for
      >me. I really have no complaints.


      >I typically generate documents that range from 2,000
      >to 3,000pages using FOP.


      >I don't even know if my users
      >can open a document that large in OpenOffice. However,
      >putting desktop memory limitations and processing
      >power aside, wouldn't it be theoretically possible to
      >publish everything in ODF?

      Oh, absolutely it is ... not only possible, but viable *when* you
      want to have the result of your transformation in a revisable form
      (and there are projects where that is, indeed, necessary).

      >We would still need only one person to develop the
      >XSLT to transform our data to ODF rather than XSL-FO.


      >Of course, in August 2004, ODF had not been
      >standardized and was probably not a good idea to
      >publish in what was an unstable format. However, I
      >don't think that the same can not be said now.

      I totally agree ... especially hearing that a number of vendors are
      announcing they are or will support ODF. I gather it is as
      unencumbered as XSL-FO.

      >I'm not suggesting that XSL-FO has outlived its
      >usefulness especially when you and others have
      >testified to the fact that XSL-FO has been
      >successfully implemented in a number of business
      >applications, including my own, five years running.
      >Additionally, ODF incorporates XSL-FO formatting
      >semantics. It wouldn't do that if XSL-FO were

      Not just "business applications" but anywhere where you are doing
      final-form pagination without needing a revisable form.

      >However, with the advent of ODF, I can't think of any
      >reason why you or I can not engineer our future
      >applications entirely in ODF or why we could not have
      >built any existing applications in ODF if it had been
      >available at the time as a standard. Since ODF
      >leverages XSL-FO, we wouldn't even be throwing away
      >any of our existing skills.

      Indeed ... and I agree it is the format of choice when needing to
      transform XML into a revisable form. Think of the Open/SaveAs uses
      of XSLT in OOo:


      As part of the UBL project I'm playing with what it would take to
      implement Open/SaveAs from and to UBL in ODF ... because the
      revisable form is what is needed for data entry. That doesn't at all
      negate the need for final-form publishing of static forms as
      implemented by the free UBL stylesheets we make available from our web site.

      And as Eric describes in his paper, OOo makes everything modular such
      that you can package the Open/SaveAs XSLT transforms as a JAR.

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

      Upcoming XSLT/XSL-FO hands-on courses: Denver,CO March 13-17,2006
      World-wide on-site corporate, govt. & user group XML/XSL training.
      G. Ken Holman mailto:gkholman@...
      Crane Softwrights Ltd. http://www.CraneSoftwrights.com/f/
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