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Re: [XSL-FO] FO Usage?

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  • W. Eliot Kimber
    ... I would say that XLS-FO is making the transition from cutting edge to commonplace. There are now two really solid commercial implementations in wide use
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 30, 2003
      Doug Burgess wrote:

      > Hello,
      >
      > Having just printed our first FO-generated distance-ed course, we're blowing
      > our own horn a bit within our organization, and trying to evangelize this
      > technology as much as possible internally.
      >
      > With that in mind, does anyone have any idea or estimate as to how widely
      > XSL-FO has been adopted around the world? Is it still cutting-edge, or
      > commonplace?

      I would say that XLS-FO is making the transition from cutting edge to
      commonplace. There are now two really solid commercial implementations
      in wide use (XSL Formatter from Antenna House and RenderX's XEP) with
      several others improving rapidly (Arbortext's Epic 4.4 has an improved
      FO implementation with promise of more in the 5.x time frame, Adobe has
      FO support in their Adobe Document Server product). We have customers
      who have been in production with XSL-FO for close to a year now. You can
      buy any number of XSL-FO books at your local bookstore. That's about as
      close to being mainstream as anything can be these days.

      As far as how widely adopted it is, hard to say. My FO clients pretty
      much want to keep their use of it a trade secret for now because it
      gives them competitive advantage, so I can't give you much there, except
      to say that I know of several consumer electronics companies that are
      using it for both external (customer) documentation and internal
      documentation (specs, etc.). My experience is that everybody who is
      exposed to it who has an XML-based publishing requirement sees the clear
      benefit but not everybody is either able to apply it today or ready to
      rework their existing XML- or SGML-based publishing system. But ISOGEN
      has certainly found XSL-FO easy to sell on its merits.

      For my clients, the big win with FO has been the ability to support
      multi-language publishing scenarios with a single XML-based tool stream,
      rather than having to use a variety of tools to handle different
      "difficult" languages like Arabic or Thai. This is challenge that is
      mostly faced by big manufacturers, so if you only count companies that
      need this, it's a relatively small number (Fortune 1000 or 10 000) say,
      but if you count the volume of pages produced it would be quite high.

      ISOGEN uses XSL-FO for producing its own documents, including its own
      XML-based training deliverables (see papers and talks by Don Smith, our
      Director of Training, for details).

      Cheers,

      Eliot
      --
      W. Eliot Kimber, eliot@...
      Consultant, ISOGEN International

      1016 La Posada Dr., Suite 240
      Austin, TX 78752 Phone: 512.656.4139
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