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Recommendations for WYSIWYG designers/editors for XSL-FO

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  • Hedley Finger
    I had the notion of getting some sort of interactive graphical editor for designing XSLT to produce FO output, sort of like the PageMaker or InDesign for XML!
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 25, 2006
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      I had the notion of getting some sort of interactive graphical editor
      for designing XSLT to produce FO output, sort of like the PageMaker or
      InDesign for XML!

      There is an old open-source app called Formatting Objects Authoring
      (FOA) where you can design page layouts by drawing rectangles, then
      open an XML source file and drag and drop elements, while specifying
      the various typographic properties (block or inline object, indents,
      etc). But it is no longer being developed and the project leader has
      moved on.

      A number of vendors claim to offer WYSIWYG designers (Altova
      Stylevision, Arbortext Styler, etc.). But I suspect that some of the
      several offerings have only a code-editor pane in which you type
      pretty syntax-coloured XSL and see the effect in the "WYSIWYG" pane.
      Its my contention that if you are working on a predominantly visual
      output -- that is, a book or form -- then a visual designer is the
      best approach.

      I have no illusions that such visual editor can be any more than an
      educational tool and that any serious work must require you to cut
      some code. So, with those codicils, can anybody recommend a WYSIWYG
      designer/editor for XSL-FO of the kind I have described to get me going?

      After 43 years in magazine and book publishing, and technical
      communication, I have at last had to face the fact that there is no
      such thing as an automatic layout algorithm. There will always be the
      final pre-print step of adjusting the paging -- getting rid of bad
      breaks, running widows and orphans forward or back to eliminate them,
      occasionally cutting text or adding padding to push page breaks
      around. So is there such a thing as viewer that displays an FO file
      and allows you to make these minor tweaks before generating the PDF
      for the printer? I have in mind the kind of minor adjustments like
      those you can make to a PDF file with Acrobat.

      So how about it:

      @ An interactive graphical WYSIWYG editor/designer for XSL:FO
      transforms
      @ An editor/viewer for tweaking FO files before PDF

      I will be most grateful to learn from my betters!

      Regards,
      Hedley
    • Virgil Reality
      In answer to Hedley http://www.inventivedesigners.com/products/scriptura.html http://www.xslfast.com/ These products have been around I think for about hmmmmmm
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 25, 2006
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        In answer to Hedley



        http://www.inventivedesigners.com/products/scriptura.html

        http://www.xslfast.com/



        These products have been around I think for about hmmmmmm 3-4 years now I
        think.



        I've used both of them and they are easy to use.

        They are both serious publishing tools.



        InDesign CS2 has an excellent or pretty excellent anyway XML interface and
        I've done some work using JavaScript with InDesign in conjunction with the
        above mentioned
        products.



        Virgil...



        -----Original Message-----
        From: XSL-FO@yahoogroups.com [mailto:XSL-FO@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
        Hedley Finger
        Sent: Wednesday, 25 October 2006 10:46 PM
        To: XSL-FO@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [XSL-FO] Recommendations for WYSIWYG designers/editors for XSL-FO




        I had the notion of getting some sort of interactive graphical editor
        for designing XSLT to produce FO output, sort of like the PageMaker or
        InDesign for XML!

        There is an old open-source app called Formatting Objects Authoring
        (FOA) where you can design page layouts by drawing rectangles, then
        open an XML source file and drag and drop elements, while specifying
        the various typographic properties (block or inline object, indents,
        etc). But it is no longer being developed and the project leader has
        moved on.

        A number of vendors claim to offer WYSIWYG designers (Altova
        Stylevision, Arbortext Styler, etc.). But I suspect that some of the
        several offerings have only a code-editor pane in which you type
        pretty syntax-coloured XSL and see the effect in the "WYSIWYG" pane.
        Its my contention that if you are working on a predominantly visual
        output -- that is, a book or form -- then a visual designer is the
        best approach.

        I have no illusions that such visual editor can be any more than an
        educational tool and that any serious work must require you to cut
        some code. So, with those codicils, can anybody recommend a WYSIWYG
        designer/editor for XSL-FO of the kind I have described to get me going?

        After 43 years in magazine and book publishing, and technical
        communication, I have at last had to face the fact that there is no
        such thing as an automatic layout algorithm. There will always be the
        final pre-print step of adjusting the paging -- getting rid of bad
        breaks, running widows and orphans forward or back to eliminate them,
        occasionally cutting text or adding padding to push page breaks
        around. So is there such a thing as viewer that displays an FO file
        and allows you to make these minor tweaks before generating the PDF
        for the printer? I have in mind the kind of minor adjustments like
        those you can make to a PDF file with Acrobat.

        So how about it:

        @ An interactive graphical WYSIWYG editor/designer for XSL:FO
        transforms
        @ An editor/viewer for tweaking FO files before PDF

        I will be most grateful to learn from my betters!

        Regards,
        Hedley





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