Re: [xsl] XSL-FO versus PostScript

Subject: Re: [xsl] XSL-FO versus PostScript
From: "J.Pietschmann" <j3322ptm@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 23:01:34 +0100
Zack Brown wrote:
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?
Yes. PS is, in general lower level than XSLFO, you can position
individual strings and graphic elements (=more power), but it lacks
higher abstractions (margins, indentations, borders, justification,
alignment, floats, page numbering, hyphenation and some more)

...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
No surprise. Just try a "Hello world" yourself...

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.

I wrote *immediate* predecessor for a reason, CSS was taken as starting point for XSLFO and is still quite explicitely referred. TeX was certainly one of the poineering applications in computerized typesetting, and in fact virtually every modern typesetting system still draws on the line breaking, filling, hyphenation and math expression typesetting algorithms first hammered out for TeX. However, TeX did not provide many good abstractions above paragraphs and formulas. It's strength was (and still is) that it's basically a programming language with a good run time library for typesetting. This allowed building many interesting abstractions on top of it. In fact, I think packages like LaTeX were a major milestone in the development of semantic markup and therefore in the lineage of XML.


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