Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

RE: [XSL-FO] XSL-FO and Quark Xpress

Expand Messages
  • Dave Pawson
    Call me cynical, but XML and UK publishers seem about 15 years out of synch? If you want to go the xml route, its doable, but expect the huh response from
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 5, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      Call me cynical, but XML and UK publishers
      seem about 15 years out of synch?

      If you want to go the xml route,
      its doable, but expect the 'huh' response
      from many of your colleagues.

      I hope I'm wrong btw.

      regards DaveP


      >-----Original Message-----
      >From: icastleton105 [mailto:ian.castleton@...]
      >Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2004 4:50 AM
      >To: XSL-FO@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: [XSL-FO] XSL-FO and Quark Xpress
      >
      >
      >I am an IT project manager for a large UK newspaper publisher. I am
      >investigating the possibility of building a content-sharing system
      >for our 250+ titles to promote the reuse of articles (such as
      >motoring, entertainment, gardening, holidays, etc) in as rich as
      >format as possible.
      >
      >A major objective of the project is to store sets of layout data with
      >each article, each set representing the "shape" with which the
      >article has been composed in previous uses. Then a page makeup
      >operator can select an article "shape" to fit the space available on
      >a page, and place the article with this shape directly on the page
      >without having to define the article layout manually.
      >
      >I am interested in using XSL-FO as the interchange format for these
      >articles, and am looking for tools to convert this into and from the
      >proprietary formats used by the page makeup applications we use -
      >mainly Quark Xpress, but also Adobe InDesign and others.
      >
      >Is anyone aware of a supplier of Quark Xtensions which can import XSL-
      >FO and create a Quark "article" (ie a collection of chained text
      >boxes into which the article content is placed), and which can export
      >such an article into XSL-FO for storage and reuse?
      >
      >
      >Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
      >ADVERTISEMENT
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >To visit your group on the web, go to:
      >http://groups.yahoo.com/group/XSL-FO/
      >
      >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      >XSL-FO-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      >
      >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
      >
      >
      >
      >Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • Eliot Kimber
      ... Unless the layouts for your articles are simpler than most, it is likely that XSL-FO 1.0 cannot meet your requirements. If you are trying to use FO to
      Message 2 of 7 , Feb 5, 2004
      • 0 Attachment
        > >A major objective of the project is to store sets of layout data with
        > >each article, each set representing the "shape" with which the
        > >article has been composed in previous uses. Then a page makeup
        > >operator can select an article "shape" to fit the space available on
        > >a page, and place the article with this shape directly on the page
        > >without having to define the article layout manually.
        > >
        > >I am interested in using XSL-FO as the interchange format for these
        > >articles, and am looking for tools to convert this into and from the
        > >proprietary formats used by the page makeup applications we use -
        > >mainly Quark Xpress, but also Adobe InDesign and others.

        Unless the layouts for your articles are simpler than most, it is likely
        that XSL-FO 1.0 cannot meet your requirements. If you are trying to use
        FO to represent the article in its pre-paginated form in such a way that
        an FO renderer would be able to produce a reasonable approximation of
        the printed article, I think there might be some limitations.

        Alternatively, you could do it if every page were treated as a set of
        absolutely-positioned block-containers with no explicit relationship
        between the blocks on different pages (that is, the FO would not be able
        to reflect the fact that the text at the start of a block on page 2 was
        in fact the continuation of the text in a block on page 1). But this
        would be sort of a twisted use of XSL-FO (although it might have some
        value--it's not competely clear what your business drivers are).

        That is, XSL-FO provides no direct way to express the sorts of
        multi-flow layouts one can design with Quark and InDesign and therefore
        may not be of much use as an interchange mechanism between those tools,
        except in the very brute force way mentioned above.

        I've done a good bit of analysis for journal publishers and one of my
        conclusions was that XSL-FO 1.0 is simply not up to the task of
        representing most journal and magazine layouts. XSL-FO 1.1 will get
        closer but will still not do everything that is required by what I
        characterize as "mildly-designed" publications, that is, journals that
        are more than just columns of content with graphics but that are not as
        designed as glossy magazines where you need things like
        arbitrarily-shaped runarounds and fine control over typographic details.
        It's important to remember that XSL-FO was designed, at least initially,
        to satisfy the requirements of documents that are traditionally produced
        in a very mechanical and regular way, such as business documents
        (reports, invoices, etc.) and technical documentation. It was not
        intended to satisfy the requirements of more heavily designed documents,
        such as periodicals.

        [Some of the design requirements could, at least in theory, be met by
        SVG embedded within XSL-FO (or visa versa), but for this vision to be
        fully realized I think there would need to be a more complete
        integration of SVG and XSL-FO such that one could embed flow objects in
        SVGs with the FO renderer and SVG renderer communicating with other. For
        example, one could imagine using SVG to define a curve that the FO
        renderer would then use as the boundary within which it rendered some
        set of flow objects, but this is beyond either current FO and SVG
        implementations or the standards they implement. I know this idea has
        long been in the minds behind both specifications, but you have to walk
        before you can run....]

        The areas that were most needed were:

        - Within-column top and bottom floats. XSL-FO 1.0 only provides
        full-page top floats and does not provide a bottom float distinct from
        footnotes (which can be used to achieve "bottom floats", but only if you
        don't also need footnotes on the same page).

        - Column footnotes (although both XEP and XSL Formatter provide
        extensions for column footnotes).

        - Ability to have text in two different columns be intruded upon by an
        absolutely-positioned area. For example, a typical page treatment is to
        have a two-column layout where the first page of the article has a
        graphic centered in the page and intruding about 1/2 away into each
        column. While XSL-FO 1.0 has side floats, which allow you to intrude
        into one column or the other, you have no way to intrude into both
        columns. You can simulate it with some clever tricks, but only if you
        can determine what content starts the second column.

        If you're looking for a reasonably generic XML representation of
        "designed" documents, you might take a look at the UltraXML product from
        WebX Systems (http://webxsystems.com/). It attempts to compete with
        Quark or InDesign but using a pure XML approach. It's not
        standards-based, because no standard currently exists for expressing
        these sorts of complex designs, but it's overall approach seems to be
        consistent with the general XSL-FO approach. It provides both
        interactive tweaking of presentation as well as batch-based composition
        using normal XML-to-XML transformation approaches. I haven't used it
        myself but from what I've seen it looks promising.

        Cheers,

        Eliot
        --
        W. Eliot Kimber
        Professional Services
        Innodata Isogen
        9030 Research Blvd, #410
        Austin, TX 78758
        (512) 372-8122

        eliot@...
        www.innodata-isogen.com
      • icastleton105
        ... likely ... to use ... that ... of ... Thanks for your feedback. The type of articles we are intending to reuse this way do in general have a fairly simple
        Message 3 of 7 , Feb 9, 2004
        • 0 Attachment
          --- In XSL-FO@yahoogroups.com, Eliot Kimber <ekimber@i...> wrote:
          > Unless the layouts for your articles are simpler than most, it is
          likely
          > that XSL-FO 1.0 cannot meet your requirements. If you are trying
          to use
          > FO to represent the article in its pre-paginated form in such a way
          that
          > an FO renderer would be able to produce a reasonable approximation
          of
          > the printed article, I think there might be some limitations.
          >
          Thanks for your feedback. The type of articles we are intending to
          reuse this way do in general have a fairly simple layout, and will
          not flow across multiple pages. The aim of the project is to speed
          up (and possibly even automate) the page composition process,
          particularly for freesheets, by allowing the reuse of a library of
          pre-shaped articles, even if they do require manual editing to fit.

          > If you're looking for a reasonably generic XML representation of
          > "designed" documents, you might take a look at the UltraXML product
          from
          > WebX Systems (http://webxsystems.com/). It attempts to compete with
          > Quark or InDesign but using a pure XML approach. It's not
          > standards-based, because no standard currently exists for
          expressing
          > these sorts of complex designs, but it's overall approach seems to
          be
          > consistent with the general XSL-FO approach. It provides both
          > interactive tweaking of presentation as well as batch-based
          composition
          > using normal XML-to-XML transformation approaches. I haven't used
          it
          > myself but from what I've seen it looks promising.
          >
          UltraXML looks promising, but we have already built a content
          management system which can manage XML.

          Regards,

          Ian
        • Eliot Kimber
          ... I was only refering to the formatting/editing component of UltraXML. I have no opinion on their content management features having neither used nor
          Message 4 of 7 , Feb 9, 2004
          • 0 Attachment
            icastleton105 wrote:

            > > using normal XML-to-XML transformation approaches. I haven't used
            > it
            > > myself but from what I've seen it looks promising.
            > >
            > UltraXML looks promising, but we have already built a content
            > management system which can manage XML.

            I was only refering to the formatting/editing component of UltraXML. I
            have no opinion on their content management features having neither used
            nor researched them.

            Cheers,

            E.
            --
            W. Eliot Kimber
            Professional Services
            Innodata Isogen
            9030 Research Blvd, #410
            Austin, TX 78758
            (512) 372-8122

            eliot@...
            www.innodata-isogen.com
          • Klaas_Bals@inventivedesigners.com
            ... You might want to take a look at our Scriptura product, that allows you to visually design documents. It can export XSLT stylesheets that generate XSL-FO,
            Message 5 of 7 , Feb 11, 2004
            • 0 Attachment
              "icastleton105" <ian.castleton@...> wrote on 02/09/2004 01:25:41 PM:

              > Thanks for your feedback. The type of articles we are intending to
              > reuse this way do in general have a fairly simple layout, and will
              > not flow across multiple pages. The aim of the project is to speed
              > up (and possibly even automate) the page composition process,
              > particularly for freesheets, by allowing the reuse of a library of
              > pre-shaped articles, even if they do require manual editing to fit.

              You might want to take a look at our Scriptura product, that allows you to
              visually design documents. It can export XSLT stylesheets that generate
              XSL-FO, or you can use it to go to the final output format directly. It
              does support flowing of content to multiple pages etc, but as this is more
              difficult that not flowing to multiple pages, it can certainly satify your
              needs of generating just one page.

              Best regards,
              -----
              Klaas Bals - Technical Manager

              Scriptura - a WYSIWYG XSL-FO editor: www.scriptura-xsl.com

              Inventive Designers
              Direct Phone: +32 - 3 - 8210183
              Office Phone: +32 - 3 - 8210170
              Office Fax: +32 - 3 - 8210171
              Email: Klaas_Bals at inventivedesigners dot com
            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.