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   Re: Which browser supports FO also

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  • From: Marcus Carr <mrc@allette.com.au>
  • To: xml-dev@xml.org
  • Date: Thu, 08 Jun 2000 10:22:30 +1000

Steve Harris wrote:

> Didier, you and Jon Bosak should have a talk! He gave a speech at
> XTech last year that pleaded for us to not give up on FOs. FOs do not
> replace HTML. Rather, HTML just becomes one possible output back-end
> from an FO processor. Granted, you would lose some fine control of the
> HTML production, but for many applications that loss would be fine
> when weighed against the benefit of maintaining a single abstract
> formatting specification.

I really don't see FOs ever getting up - as far as I can see, they're the
latest in a string of failed attempts to garner support for abstracting
formatting. First there was FOSI, then DSSSL, now FO. I suspect that the
reasons that this idea keeps surfacing are twofold - first, people worry that
the de-emhasising of formatting in favour of structure makes them somehow
vulnerable, as "no OTS application can render my documents..." Second, the idea
of a formal definition has wide appeal, as it provides people with a point of
reference. While that may have a certain amount of value, typesetters have been
sucessfully producing hardcopy for centuries working with their "informal

Even using two different applications to render an FO document, you likely
wouldn't get the same result, so you're still going to end up choosing one
application or the other. This completely negates the gains made by the
abstracted format - you may as well just choose the application up front and
work with it's particular formatting interface.


Marcus Carr                      email:  mrc@allette.com.au
Allette Systems (Australia)      www:    http://www.allette.com.au
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
       - Einstein

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