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   Re: The problem with typography (with or without flow objects)

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  • From: "Eve L. Maler" <Eve.Maler@east.sun.com>
  • To: xml-dev@xml.org
  • Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2000 12:22:48 -0400

At 05:04 PM 6/14/00 +0100, Sebastian Rahtz wrote:
>No, but I can imagine using PIs to hard-wire instructions to the
>formatter. Having actually *done* a book using FOs, I know it
>works. We put in PIs to force page breaks in the formatter, for

You insert page breaks automatically when you create the FOs?  Or a human 
sits there and inserts them?  It's the latter process that has gone by the 
wayside in most high-volume production systems I know of, and it's 
especially true the more output destinations you have.  If you can insert 
them automatically, then you might as well put them into the stylesheet 
instructions directly.

>It seems to be a disease of the computer industry to rush things to
>market. Who else would ever do this? Does your car have a ReadMe.First
>document? your video player? It's hard to accept that a few weeks is
>important in the life of a serious bit of software. Isnt it indicative
>of firefight bugfixing?

I don't think it's indicative.  (The video players I've bought sometimes 
have had RMF's, by the way!)  The problem was that the software took less 
time to master, duplicate, and distribute than the documentation, so we had 
to stop writing/reviewing before the "real product" was done.  Now, with 
CDs, Web downloads, and ASPs, it takes even less time.  Docos (as we used 
to call ourselves) were always squeezed, because we weren't a profit 
center; we just provided "support services" for the real product.

Certainly the motivation to become more efficient is even more acute now, 
but that's the way of the world...  And as I get closer to 40, I find that 
I much prefer a Web page or e-book whose point size I can bump up than a 
beautiful printed page that is not similarly "scalable."

Eve Maler                                    +1 781 442 3190
Sun Microsystems XML Technology Center    elm @ east.sun.com

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