Re: [xsl] Re: What is the future of XSL-FO

Subject: Re: [xsl] Re: What is the future of XSL-FO
From: Kobayashi <koba@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 29 Feb 2004 11:37:57 +0900
>> Reply to the original mail from:
>>  xsl-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Now, let's apply this to XSL-FO, and the distinction between Antenna House
> and FOP. Antenna House is a superb FO renderer, one of the best on the
> planet. Yet FO by itself is not a widely used final format, but instead has
> become a de facto intermediate format on the way to other things -- PDF,
> Word, and so forth. The principle reason for this is because FO is too
> complex to use compared to HTML, while at the same time too semantically
> poor to maintain page content for repurposing. For me, the XSL-FO
> intermediate state is important for coming from other XML, however, but what
> I need out of it is that final render state, whether as PDF or as something
> else.

XSL-FO is not appropriate for intermediate format. Because it loses 
information on the structure, semantics in your argument, of original XML.
Instead it is added information for presentation. The same applies to
HTML, the information distributed in HTML is hard to re-use.

HTML and XSL-FO is not intended for intermediate format, but for 
presentation and navigation (in case of HTML) format.

XSL-FO to Word conversion is NOT considered as a good path, you had better
transform from original XML to Word. You may also transform XML to
WordML. In this case, rendering engine has no relation with the 

The archtecture should be:

 XML ---> HTML ---> Browser
 XML ---> XSL-FO --> XSL-FO processor
 XML ---> WordML --> Word, or compatible processor

> FOP is open source. I can modify that code, so long as I am willing to give
> back that code into the community (which I will be). This will help me
> achieve my goal, which is to build a publishing distribution service for
> e-books. While I will be selling the conversions to PDF, anyone with a copy
> of Adobe Acrobat Pro can do the same thing, with the same level of fidelity.
> However, if my goal is to get code into a maintainable intermediate
> format(s) (in some other XML dialect) then FOP works quite fine to my needs.
> My business, which is not a software publisher, gains this capability to
> perform the conversions without the overhead of having infrastructure that I
> don't wish to support on our own applications. I produce ancillary
> technology based upon that including stylesheets and validation services
> that I then contribute back into the overall good, while still supporting my
> business model. In essence, the GPL in particular codifies the principal of
> sharing.

As I can not imagine your needs, I suppose your modification is not easy 
if you wish to add functions to the core of FOP. My recommendation is:
You had better invest your time and days into content of e-book, not 
for modification of FOP.

Best regards,

Tokushige Kobayashi
Antenna House, Inc.
E-mail koba@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
WWW (English)
TEL    +81-3-3234-1361(direct call)
FAX    +81-3-3221-9975

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