Converters from Xerox Metacode/Compuset to XSL-FO
- Hi All,
I am investigating the use of various technologies to help us with our
document generation requirements (low volume/high complexity and
high volume/low complexity documents) and XSL-FO is one contender
(we have a number of alternate systems in use) in both of these areas.
One of the barriers to transition from proprietary systems is the
of a suitable, cost effective migration path for pre-existing templates. One
of these systems is Xerox Autograph where we use DLS and Compuset
templates to produce statements etc. I have found Compuset to PDF
converters but really what I want is to be able to (somehow) convert the
templates to interim formats such as XML+XSLT (to produce XSL-FO)
rather than to some end format as I would like to be able to then use
them at design time into the future.
Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions on this?
Thanks in advance,
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- At 2004-02-10 10:52 +1000, CRANSTON, Dalton wrote:
>One of the barriers to transition from proprietary systems is theThat would be "for pre-existing proprietary templates" which, by
>of a suitable, cost effective migration path for pre-existing templates.
definition, would make them difficult animals to find since they'd be the
domain of proprietary vendors that may not have an interest in open solutions.
>One of these systems is Xerox Autograph where we use DLS and CompusetI believe that is a tough nut to crack, not because of any complexity that
>templates to produce statements etc. I have found Compuset to PDF
>converters but really what I want is to be able to (somehow) convert the
>templates to interim formats such as XML+XSLT (to produce XSL-FO)
might be with XSLT and XSL-FO ... these are designed well for what they do
and the meet a set of semantics designed and selected by the working group
that developed the specification.
>rather than to some end format as I would like to be able to then useGee, sounds nice, but won't it be difficult to map a vendor's proprietary
>them at design time into the future.
choice of layout semantics to an open standard's choice of layout
semantics? Certainly the end results of many of the concepts will be
similar since both are producing a paginated output, but how it gets there
is critically important because any expression you may have that follows
the semantics of a proprietary solution would have to be interpreted and
translated to an expression that follows the semantics of XSLT and XSL-FO.
This is not to speak to the architectural chasm between tightly-bound
formatting processors where the transformation task is intimately aware of
the formatting task, and the XSL arm's-length architecture where all of the
transformation has to be completed before any of the formatting can
begin. You will have to find a way to map all of the proprietary semantics
of on-the-fly status checking into XSL's semantics of formatting contingencies.
One important question is: does the proprietary system have a concept of
transformation of XML inputs to an output, or is it similar to a desktop
publishing system of production of a final-form output?
>Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions on this?(1) Manage your expectations ... without even knowing your proprietary
systems, I suspect it will either take magic or human intervention to map
(2) If you can at the least produce a static XSL-FO instance representing
the same output as that of a proprietary solution, then consider how
LiterateXSLT (a free resource available from our web site) might help; it
is an incomplete prototype of XSLT stylesheet inference engine. Using
LiterateXSLT one makes a static snapshot of a completed transformation,
then seeds that snapshot with triggers about transformation based on a
representative XML input. A multi-step process then infers the XSLT
stylesheet required for the XML input to generate the XSL-FO output. That
XSLT stylesheet can then be used with multiple XML inputs. I developed the
prototype long enough to satisfy some UBL work I was doing and then left it
on the shelf for others since I don't have the resources to complete
it. Others have found it useful.
I hope this has helped.
Public courses: upcoming world tour of hands-on XSL training events
Each week: Monday-Wednesday: XSLT/XPath; Thursday-Friday: XSL-FO
Washington, DC: 2004-03-15 San Francisco, CA: 2004-03-22
Hong Kong: 2004-05-17 Germany: 2004-05-24 England: 2004-06-07
World-wide on-site corporate, government & user group XML training!
G. Ken Holman mailto:gkholman@...
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