Re: [xsl] XSL-FO versus PostScript

Subject: Re: [xsl] XSL-FO versus PostScript
From: Zack Brown <zbrown@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 13:31:15 -0800

On Wed, Feb 26, 2003 at 09:33:20PM +0100, J.Pietschmann wrote:
> Zack Brown wrote:
> >Could someone explain the advantages of XSL-FO over PostScript? As far as
> >I can see, XSLT can be used to output both,
> Certainly. However, the FO processor does quite an amount
> of computing, for example justifying spaces, adjusting lines
> if there are different font sizes used and perhaps hyphenation.
> get an OS XSLFO processor and look what
> it does. If you want to use XSLT to directly generate PS,
> you are restricted to fairly easy and most of all to a
> stable layout, because the more complicated cases (like
> footnotes in changing page masters or aligning page numbers
> depending whether they are onn odd or even pages) get
> soon out of control.

So, to sum up your argument, PostScript does give more power, but XSL-FO makes
some things (footnotes, page number alignment, etc) easy, that PostScript
has no basic provisions for?

I can go along with that. Thanks!

...but I wonder if there are any PostScript subroutine libraries out
there that try to bridge that gap. A quick google search didn't find

> >The one argument I can see in favor of FO is that it presents a method of
> >page description that is more intuitive than PostScript. But even that is
> >kind of iffy. XSL-FO goes through a lot of hoops (like inheritance) to 
> >avoid
> >programmatic flow control. And the result is fairly convoluted.
> XSLFO was the first really systematic attempt on formalizing
> higher level layout. Of course it contains some cruft, mostly
> inherited from CSS (the most notable immediate predecessor).

I think TeX came before CSS. That's what I used in the early/mid 90's. It
was really great, but very rigid in ways that seemed arbitrary (like not
using memory that was available on the system, even when the alternative
was to terminate without completing its task).  In spite of its flaws it
was very powerful and even beautiful in its way.

Be well,

> If I'd put in charge of redesigning it without concerns for
> compatiblity, I'd change a few bits.
> J.Pietschmann
> XSL-List info and archive:

Zack Brown

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