(dsssl) Fixed-size cells in tables?

Subject: (dsssl) Fixed-size cells in tables?
From: Tim McDaniel <tmcd@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2003 12:29:25 -0500 (CDT)
One of the programs I maintain generates a list of names.  They are to
be printed onto labels to be stuck on folders.  What I have been doing
is having it generate the names in Latin-1 and using Microsoft Word
Mail Merge to generate the sheets to print.  Mail Merge knows about
the format of the particular type of labels (Avery 5160, out of
hundres of types you can select).  It generates one table per sheet,
with each cell precisely the size of a label on the sheet, and each
cell in the table contains (in this case) one name.

Problem: it's really damned tedious to use Microsoft Word 2000 Mail
Merge.  It's about twenty mouse clicks, and there are several settings
for which you cannot change the default and if you don't change it,
bad things happen.  (For example, it assumes that you will always feed
the sheets via the manual feed path.)

I thought that was tedious.  I know Perl, I quickly learned Perl's
XML::Dom (I thought about doing complicated data structures in DSSSL
and shuddered), had Perl output XML tags that corresponded nicely to
DSSSL constructs, did a DSSSL program and DTD, ...

... and the tables were great, except that each row had a height that
varied according to the contents.  I look back at my program and found
that nowhere did I use the height variable.  OK, I look at the DSSSL
standard to see how to specify the height on a table-cell ... I don't
see it ... table-row ... I don't see it ... paragraph ... I don't see
it ...

I go thru the DSSSL standard.  The only place I see to specify a
height is on an included-container-area flow object.  I wrap each
cell's contents in an included-container-area ...

openjade:labels.dsl:62:9:E: "included-container-area" is not the name of any flow object class

I check the OpenJade on-line docs: it's not on the list of Supported
Flow Objects.

Is there no way in Hell to specify the height of a table cell in
OpenJade?  Am I doomed to do Microsoft Word Mail Merge?

Actually, one workaround occurred to me.  I could go into MS Word,
select the tables, and change all the row heights to the amount I want
(1").  I could do it in a Visual Basic macro.   Ewwww.  But it'd be
easier than MS Word Mail Merge.

Tim McDaniel (home); Reply-To: tmcd@xxxxxxxxx; work is tmcd@xxxxxxxxxxx

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