Re: [xsl] xsl 2.0?

Subject: Re: [xsl] xsl 2.0?
From: Liam R E Quin <liam@xxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 05 Nov 2013 01:56:11 -0500
On Mon, 2013-11-04 at 23:01 -0600, Paul Tyson wrote:
> Quoting from DSSSL 12.2: "A flow object tree is an abstract
> representation of the merger of the formatting specification and the
> source document."
> XSL-FO dropped the "abstract representation" part of that, and deals
> only with syntactic "formatting objects" instead of abstract "flow
> objects".

Actually they are still abstract. The XML syntax is for interchange, but
is not the data model.

> I found that I needed something like the beloved DSSSL style language
> "sosofos"--specifications of a sequence of flow objects. 

yes, XSL-FO doesn't consistently supply that.


> Specifically, what I hoped to find in XSL 2.0 was support for complex
> page layout and flow mapping to multiple regions.
This is nothing to do with sosofos in XSL-Fo of course. The XSl-FO 2
flow map does have support for flow mapping to multiple regions.

> I do believe, however, that it would advance the art to revive and
> complete XSL 2.0 along these lines. Maybe the trend away from
> proprietary formatting systems will tip the scales back in favor of
> improving XSL-FO.

The scales are weighted very heavily in favour of handling this level of
complexity in HTML + CSS. As XML Activity Lead at W3C I'd have a really
hard time in restarting the XSL-FO work, unless we had (1) implementers,
and (2) users and (3) specification writers and (4) testers, and (5)
funding. Even the print and page layout community group is pretty thin
on the ground for people, although there's been some interesting work
done there.

The way to get what you want is probably to look at the CSS regions and
flows stuff and send comments on it.

It's true that XSL-FO adoption is on the rise, as publishers move to
mixed PDF/print and ebook workflows. Other publishers who have been
using XSl-FO for a while seem to be moving towards CSS, and although the
claim that it's easier to find CSS expertise than XSl-FO expertise seems
spurious (CSS-for-complex-print expertise is very very hard to find!)
people do seem to find it compelling.


Liam Quin - XML Activity Lead, W3C,
Pictures from old books:
Ankh: freenode/#xml

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