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RE: [XSL-FO] Forms in FO

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  • 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 1 of 8 , Mar 22, 2005
      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 2 of 8 , Mar 22, 2005
        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 3 of 8 , Mar 22, 2005
          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 4 of 8 , Mar 22, 2005
            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 5 of 8 , Mar 23, 2005
              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 6 of 8 , Mar 24, 2005
                "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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