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Forms in FO

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  • Nicola Harlow
    Hi, Does anyone have an example of a form in XSL:FO? I want to provide the full monty including drop-down lists etc. At the moment I can only get the users to
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 22, 2005
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      Hi,



      Does anyone have an example of a form in XSL:FO?

      I want to provide the full monty including drop-down lists etc.

      At the moment I can only get the users to email back their comments, but
      anything you have would help. Once I understand the basics I can give it
      a hack!

      I have a version in HTML, but have no idea where to start with getting
      it into PDF (or even if it's possible).

      Thanks,

      Nicola

      Nicola Harlow
      Technical Author
      The Program Management Group plc
      tel: +44 (0) 1937 547 171
      direct: +44 (0) 1937 547 165
      fax: +44 (0) 1937 547 154
      mail: nicola.harlow@...
      web: http://www.pm-group.com





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Eliot Kimber
      ... XSL-FO does not have any support for forms nor would it be likely to, as forms are both outside the scope of FO (which only addresses visual rendering of
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 22, 2005
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        Nicola Harlow wrote:
        > Hi,
        >
        >
        >
        > Does anyone have an example of a form in XSL:FO?
        >
        > I want to provide the full monty including drop-down lists etc.

        XSL-FO does not have any support for forms nor would it be likely to, as
        forms are both outside the scope of FO (which only addresses visual
        rendering of more-or-less static content) and there are other XML
        specifications that address the representation of forms.

        It might make sense, for example, for an FO implementation to support
        embedded XML forms elements, just as some implementations support
        embedded SVG and MathML, but as far as I know, no such implementations
        exist.

        Cheers,

        Eliot
        --
        W. Eliot Kimber
        Professional Services
        Innodata Isogen
        9390 Research Blvd, #410
        Austin, TX 78759
        (512) 372-8155

        ekimber@...
        www.innodata-isogen.com
      • Nicola Harlow
        Thanks, knowing you CAN T do something is just as useful as knowing how to do something :) Nicola Nicola Harlow Technical Author The Program Management Group
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 22, 2005
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          Thanks, knowing you CAN'T do something is just as useful as knowing how
          to do something :)



          Nicola



          Nicola Harlow
          Technical Author
          The Program Management Group plc
          tel: +44 (0) 1937 547 171
          direct: +44 (0) 1937 547 165
          fax: +44 (0) 1937 547 154
          mail: nicola.harlow@...
          web: http://www.pm-group.com

          ________________________________

          From: Eliot Kimber [mailto:ekimber@...]
          Sent: 22 March 2005 15:34
          To: XSL-FO@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [XSL-FO] Forms in FO



          Nicola Harlow wrote:
          > Hi,
          >
          >
          >
          > Does anyone have an example of a form in XSL:FO?
          >
          > I want to provide the full monty including drop-down lists etc.

          XSL-FO does not have any support for forms nor would it be likely to, as

          forms are both outside the scope of FO (which only addresses visual
          rendering of more-or-less static content) and there are other XML
          specifications that address the representation of forms.

          It might make sense, for example, for an FO implementation to support
          embedded XML forms elements, just as some implementations support
          embedded SVG and MathML, but as far as I know, no such implementations
          exist.

          Cheers,

          Eliot
          --
          W. Eliot Kimber
          Professional Services
          Innodata Isogen
          9390 Research Blvd, #410
          Austin, TX 78759
          (512) 372-8155

          ekimber@...
          www.innodata-isogen.com





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        • G. Ken Holman
          ... The way I approached this problem is to express the form content in XML, use one stylesheet for print with XSL-FO, and then another for the web server
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 22, 2005
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            At 2005-03-22 14:17 +0000, Nicola Harlow wrote:
            >Does anyone have an example of a form in XSL:FO?
            >
            >I want to provide the full monty including drop-down lists etc.
            >
            >At the moment I can only get the users to email back their comments, but
            >anything you have would help. Once I understand the basics I can give it
            >a hack!
            >
            >I have a version in HTML, but have no idea where to start with getting
            >it into PDF (or even if it's possible).

            The way I approached this problem is to express the form content in XML,
            use one stylesheet for print with XSL-FO, and then another for the web
            server using PHP for dynamic forms interaction. The resulting fields, when
            the user presses "Send", are then emailed to me as a well-formed XML instance.

            PHP is powerful, but verbose and sometimes awkward. By learning enough PHP
            to write my XSLT stylesheet to synthesize the resulting PHP page, I have
            now forgotten PHP almost entirely and just write my forms descriptions in
            my XML forms vocabulary and my stylesheet does the rest.

            I have it in mind to do the same with XForms ... relearn PHP, write an XSLT
            stylesheet that reads the XForms description, and then synthesize the PHP
            needed to present the form dynamically from the server to a simple web
            browser. Then I can forget PHP again and do all my work in XForms instead
            of my own vocabulary. I've already proven the concept years ago before
            XForms came out, and I think it would be a contribution to the XForms
            community to have such a stylesheet. I'd like to do this with the UBL
            input specifications that are being developed.

            The guest book page on my web site is implemented in this fashion (with my
            own vocabulary, not yet with XForms); when you press "Send" you get a copy
            of the email message with the well-formed instance. It is also used on the
            http://xugo.org attendance registration page (btw, for those readers in the
            Ottawa area, the next meeting is tonight). Though I haven't had the need
            to create a print layout for this page in XSL-FO it would be
            straightforward, and it would be a separate effort.

            I think trying to build any kind of interaction with XSL-FO would be
            misguided. As Eliot said, there are no forms interaction semantics in the
            FO vocabulary.

            I hope this helps.

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


            --
            World-wide on-site corporate, govt. & user group XML/XSL training.
            G. Ken Holman mailto:gkholman@...
            Crane Softwrights Ltd. http://www.CraneSoftwrights.com/f/
            Box 266, Kars, Ontario CANADA K0A-2E0 +1(613)489-0999 (F:-0995)
            Male Breast Cancer Awareness http://www.CraneSoftwrights.com/f/bc
            Legal business disclaimers: http://www.CraneSoftwrights.com/legal
          • Nicola Harlow
            Hi, Well I do output in four formats, (HTML, Compiled Help, Online Help, PDF), most of which take the forms, so I m not too bothered. I might just create a
            Message 5 of 8 , Mar 22, 2005
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              Hi,



              Well I do output in four formats, (HTML, Compiled Help, Online Help,
              PDF), most of which take the forms, so I'm not too bothered. I might
              just create a table people can fill out the old fashioned way (with a
              technology known as print out and write :) so they can contact us if
              they really are desperate to comment! At the moment I just direct them
              to the main help files as I have to have something to replace the topic
              normally filled with HTML forms.



              Hopefully soon I can have space on our website to include a feedback
              form (although perhaps not with just dodgy emailing replies!) and I can
              then link to that from the PDF with a plain old external link ;)



              Nicola



              Nicola Harlow
              Technical Author
              The Program Management Group plc
              tel: +44 (0) 1937 547 171
              direct: +44 (0) 1937 547 165
              fax: +44 (0) 1937 547 154
              mail: nicola.harlow@...
              web: http://www.pm-group.com

              ________________________________

              From: G. Ken Holman [mailto:gkholman@...]
              Sent: 22 March 2005 15:46
              To: XSL-FO@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [XSL-FO] Forms in FO



              At 2005-03-22 14:17 +0000, Nicola Harlow wrote:
              >Does anyone have an example of a form in XSL:FO?
              >
              >I want to provide the full monty including drop-down lists etc.
              >
              >At the moment I can only get the users to email back their comments,
              but
              >anything you have would help. Once I understand the basics I can give
              it
              >a hack!
              >
              >I have a version in HTML, but have no idea where to start with getting
              >it into PDF (or even if it's possible).

              The way I approached this problem is to express the form content in XML,

              use one stylesheet for print with XSL-FO, and then another for the web
              server using PHP for dynamic forms interaction. The resulting fields,
              when
              the user presses "Send", are then emailed to me as a well-formed XML
              instance.

              PHP is powerful, but verbose and sometimes awkward. By learning enough
              PHP
              to write my XSLT stylesheet to synthesize the resulting PHP page, I have

              now forgotten PHP almost entirely and just write my forms descriptions
              in
              my XML forms vocabulary and my stylesheet does the rest.

              I have it in mind to do the same with XForms ... relearn PHP, write an
              XSLT
              stylesheet that reads the XForms description, and then synthesize the
              PHP
              needed to present the form dynamically from the server to a simple web
              browser. Then I can forget PHP again and do all my work in XForms
              instead
              of my own vocabulary. I've already proven the concept years ago before
              XForms came out, and I think it would be a contribution to the XForms
              community to have such a stylesheet. I'd like to do this with the UBL
              input specifications that are being developed.

              The guest book page on my web site is implemented in this fashion (with
              my
              own vocabulary, not yet with XForms); when you press "Send" you get a
              copy
              of the email message with the well-formed instance. It is also used on
              the
              http://xugo.org attendance registration page (btw, for those readers in
              the
              Ottawa area, the next meeting is tonight). Though I haven't had the
              need
              to create a print layout for this page in XSL-FO it would be
              straightforward, and it would be a separate effort.

              I think trying to build any kind of interaction with XSL-FO would be
              misguided. As Eliot said, there are no forms interaction semantics in
              the
              FO vocabulary.

              I hope this helps.

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


              --
              World-wide on-site corporate, govt. & user group XML/XSL training.
              G. Ken Holman mailto:gkholman@...
              Crane Softwrights Ltd. http://www.CraneSoftwrights.com/f/
              Box 266, Kars, Ontario CANADA K0A-2E0 +1(613)489-0999 (F:-0995)
              Male Breast Cancer Awareness http://www.CraneSoftwrights.com/f/bc
              Legal business disclaimers: http://www.CraneSoftwrights.com/legal





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            • Ramakrishnan, Deivanayagam
              Hi, I too had a similar requirement. Now, we are creating a PS and use Distiller to create the correcponding PDF. Please keep us posted if you find XSL-FO way.
              Message 6 of 8 , Mar 22, 2005
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                Hi,
                I too had a similar requirement. Now, we are creating a PS and use
                Distiller to create the correcponding PDF. Please keep us posted if you
                find XSL-FO way.
                regards,
                Deiv



                Deivanayagam Ramakrishnan
                Hewlett Packard - GDIC
                30 Cunningham Road
                Bangalore - 52
                22251554 xtn 2149

                -----Original Message-----
                From: Nicola Harlow [mailto:nicola.harlow@...]
                Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2005 7:47 PM
                To: XSL-FO@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [XSL-FO] Forms in FO


                Hi,



                Does anyone have an example of a form in XSL:FO?

                I want to provide the full monty including drop-down lists etc.

                At the moment I can only get the users to email back their comments, but
                anything you have would help. Once I understand the basics I can give it
                a hack!

                I have a version in HTML, but have no idea where to start with getting
                it into PDF (or even if it's possible).

                Thanks,

                Nicola

                Nicola Harlow
                Technical Author
                The Program Management Group plc
                tel: +44 (0) 1937 547 171
                direct: +44 (0) 1937 547 165
                fax: +44 (0) 1937 547 154
                mail: nicola.harlow@...
                web: http://www.pm-group.com





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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              • Fournier,Danny [NCR]
                I basically use FO to create the layout of the whole PDF. Then, I use Acrobat to add the form elements to it. If there was something wrong with the PDF layout,
                Message 7 of 8 , Mar 23, 2005
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                  I basically use FO to create the layout of the whole PDF. Then, I use
                  Acrobat to add the form elements to it.

                  If there was something wrong with the PDF layout, I keep a backup of the
                  one with the form elements, modify the old one and re-use the placed
                  form elements from the backup and paste them in the new one.

                  Hope this helps,

                  Dan

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Ramakrishnan, Deivanayagam
                  [mailto:deivanayagam.ramakrishnan@...]
                  Sent: March 22, 2005 11:50 PM
                  To: XSL-FO@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: RE: [XSL-FO] Forms in FO



                  Hi,
                  I too had a similar requirement. Now, we are creating a PS and use
                  Distiller to create the correcponding PDF. Please keep us posted if you
                  find XSL-FO way.
                  regards,
                  Deiv



                  Deivanayagam Ramakrishnan
                  Hewlett Packard - GDIC
                  30 Cunningham Road
                  Bangalore - 52
                  22251554 xtn 2149

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Nicola Harlow [mailto:nicola.harlow@...]
                  Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2005 7:47 PM
                  To: XSL-FO@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [XSL-FO] Forms in FO


                  Hi,



                  Does anyone have an example of a form in XSL:FO?

                  I want to provide the full monty including drop-down lists etc.

                  At the moment I can only get the users to email back their comments, but
                  anything you have would help. Once I understand the basics I can give it
                  a hack!

                  I have a version in HTML, but have no idea where to start with getting
                  it into PDF (or even if it's possible).

                  Thanks,

                  Nicola

                  Nicola Harlow
                  Technical Author
                  The Program Management Group plc
                  tel: +44 (0) 1937 547 171
                  direct: +44 (0) 1937 547 165
                  fax: +44 (0) 1937 547 154
                  mail: nicola.harlow@...
                  web: http://www.pm-group.com





                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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                • Klaas_Bals@inventivedesigners.com
                  Nicola Harlow wrote on 22/03/2005 15:17:28:Hi, Does anyone have an example of a form in XSL:FO? I want to
                  Message 8 of 8 , Mar 24, 2005
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                    "Nicola Harlow" <nicola.harlow@...> wrote on 22/03/2005 15:17:28:

                    > Hi,
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Does anyone have an example of a form in XSL:FO?
                    >
                    > I want to provide the full monty including drop-down lists etc.
                    >
                    > At the moment I can only get the users to email back their comments, but
                    > anything you have would help. Once I understand the basics I can give it
                    > a hack!
                    >
                    > I have a version in HTML, but have no idea where to start with getting
                    > it into PDF (or even if it's possible).

                    The Scriptura XBOS 4.0, which will be released very soon now, will have
                    support for interactive forms, using XForms as the underlying forms
                    technology and XSL-FO for the layout. It will support many XForms
                    features, such as validation, dynamic table rows, combined with all of the
                    features of XSL-FO, such as table headers, conditional page masters etc.

                    Of course, our graphical designer will have support for these form
                    controls, in addition to the XSL-FO features.

                    You will have the ability to print either a rendered (either on paper or
                    on screen) version of the empty form, a rendered version of the filled in
                    form, and an interactive form that can be filled in.
                    In the initial release of this forms functionality, you will need either
                    an applet or a forms reader (also a part of Scriptura XBOS) to fill in the
                    forms. HTML or PDF forms could be coming later.

                    No other public information about this is available right now, but you can
                    expect an announcement very soon now.

                    Best regards,
                    -----
                    Klaas Bals - CTO
                    Inventive Designers
                    Direct Phone: +32 - 3 - 8210183
                    Office Phone: +32 - 3 - 8210170
                    Office Fax: +32 - 3 - 8210171
                    Email: Klaas_Bals at inventivedesigners dot com

                    Inventive Designers - Keep your options open...



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