Re: [xsl] status of FOP, Oct 2006

Subject: Re: [xsl] status of FOP, Oct 2006
From: Michael Hahn <amslotnik@xxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 11 Oct 2006 20:22:16 -0500
Wendell Piez wrote:

Which should we install for our students to run from the command line, and why? Or should it be something entirely different, instead or in addition? (As I said, we also show them other tools including commercial tools, so they know that FOP != XSL.)

We'd be obliged for any ideas or informed opinions.

Either is more than adequate for classroom use--actually, I've had clients/employers using both in production. FOP 0.92 handles some aspects of FO processing differently than 0.20.5, but the differences generally represent more conformance rather than less.

If you elect to upgrade to 0.92, be aware that there are configuration file differences (both in the base configuration file and font configuration) that'll need to be addressed.

Personally, I think one of the advantages of using FOP in a classroom setting is that it requires more attention to font configuration, rather than simply picking up whatever happens to be installed on a Windows box. For teaching purposes, reinforcing consideration of font selection and use by forcing the student to configure the fonts to be used in the the exercise is a positive factor.

The negative part of using FOP in a classroom setting is that, unfortunately, stylesheets written for one processor *still* aren't reliably interoperable with another. Taking samples away from class to apply in an environment using another processor may have unanticipated results.

Michael Hahn
Senior Engineering Procedures Analyst
Cessna Aircraft Company Technical Publications

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