Re: [xsl] XSL-FO versus PostScript

Subject: Re: [xsl] XSL-FO versus PostScript
From: Mulberry Technologies List Owner <xsl-list-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 19:46:34 -0500
>Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 00:18:24 GMT
>Message-Id: <200302270018.AAA16856@e3000>
>From: David Carlisle <davidc@xxxxxxxxx>
>To: xsl-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>Subject: Re: [xsl] XSL-FO versus PostScript
>> In fact, I think packages like
>> LaTeX were a major milestone in the development of semantic markup and
>> therefore in the lineage of XML.
>True enough and still there's probably a lot more _documents_ as opposed
>to database output marked up in latex than in XML. (I'm not sure I
>approve of the fact that all references to TeX in this thread have been
>in the past tense:-)
>but to return to the original question in the subject line, it is
>comparing apples and oranges. It would be virtually impossible to write
>reasonable postscript from XSLT, you need a typesetter.
>Even just printing a simple text string like "hello world"
>needs the typesetter to be able to determine the position of every
>character to specify it to postscript, and to know which characters in
>the font correspond (after ligature processing) to strings of characters
>in the input, to know all the kerns (fine spacing) to place between
>each letters (these are specified in the font metric afm or tfm files,
>so at the very least you'd have to have an xml version of the font
>metrics so xslt can read them. (I just tried this with TeX and it
>kerns between the w and o of world in its default font (cmr)).
>And that's just to print hello world, if you start to think about
>writing a float placement and page breaking algorithm in either XSLT or
>Postscript you'll see that neither is an ideal language for the job.
>The output of a typesetting engine such as an XSLFO engine is often
>postscript (or pdf) so clearly in some sense you can do anything in PS
>that you could do in FO, but that is like saying why write in
>a high level programming language when clearly it is more powerful
>to write in assembler as anything in the former can be translated to the
>(LaTeX maintainer in a parallel life)

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