FOP: A formatting object to PDF converter

Subject: FOP: A formatting object to PDF converter
From: "James Tauber" <jtauber@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 24 Aug 1998 19:25:24 +0800
Those of you who read XML-L may have noticed mention of the Fomatting Object
to PDF converter, FOP,  I've been working nights on since WD-xsl came out.
I'm prototyping in Perl but I will probably move over to Java and interface
it with XT, etc at some stage. Source code will be copylefted (or something

It is *very* early days at the moment. Current restrictions include that it:

- only knows about block and sequence objects
- only knows a handful of properties those objects can have
- word wraps but without full justification
- only one page
- doesn't use character-level font-metrics so word wrap only works properly
  fixed-width fonts.

But it CAN take the FO example in the WD-xsl and spit out a nice PDF.

Many of the restrictions above will be lifted over the next few iterations
(the next couple of weeks).

What I am interested in is examples of formatting object trees. If anyone
has any (small) examples they wouldn't mind passing on, I would appreciate

They don't have to conform to the restrictions above. I can use the examples
as impetus for adding more features.

Once FOP can handle multiple pages, font metrics and a few more formatting
objects and properties, I'll start making the code available.

James Tauber / jtauber@xxxxxxxxxxx
Lecturer and Associate Researcher
Electronic Commerce Network             (
Curtin Business School                  (
Perth, Western Australia                (

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