Subject: [xsl] Community-Defined XSL-FO Extensions|
From: "W. Eliot Kimber" <eliot@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 14 Oct 2002 11:44:37 -0500
I've now done enough work with the different XSL FO implementations to realize that there is a relatively small set of extensions that pretty much everyone needs in order to use XSL FO for production technical documentation. For example, both RenderX and Antenna House have implemented extensions for defining PDF bookmarks and for producing back-of-the-book indexes.
Ideally, the XSL FO specification would simply be revised in order to meet this fairly clear set of requirements. But it appears that the XSL working group is not disposed to FO work at the moment, for very understandable reasons.
Thus it occurs to me that it might be useful to start a community effort to standardize what the various vendors are doing unilaterally, using the EXSLT activity as a model.
1. Would anyone else in the user/integrator community be interested in contributing to such an effort?
2. Would the vendors be interested in contributing and implementing community-developed extensions?
Extensions are an important way that vendors can distinguish themselves in the marketplace, but on the other hand, the XSL FO arena is one in which all competition is already almost entirely on value, not unique, proprietary features. Part of this is because of the completeness of the FO spec itself (and the completeness of the competing implementations) and part of this is because of the fact that XSLT makes it affordable to have a single style sheet that can accomodate different implementations with very little extra effort.
This suggests to me that it is in everybody's interests to standardize the needed extensions in advance of formal refinements to the FO spec. And of course it would be supremely cool if a single non-trivial FO instance could be used interchangably with all or most of the available FO implementations.
I would be happy to start a SourceForge project or even take something forward through OASIS if anyone thinks we need that level of formality.
Eliot Kimber -- W. Eliot Kimber, eliot@xxxxxxxxxx Consultant, ISOGEN International
1016 La Posada Dr., Suite 240 Austin, TX 78752 Phone: 512.656.4139