Re: [XSL-FO] FO Usage?
- Doug Burgess wrote:
> Hello,I would say that XLS-FO is making the transition from cutting edge to
> 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. 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).
W. Eliot Kimber, eliot@...
Consultant, ISOGEN International
1016 La Posada Dr., Suite 240
Austin, TX 78752 Phone: 512.656.4139