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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: Thu, 15 Jun 2000 09:38:42 -0400

At 09:06 PM 6/14/00 +0100, Sebastian Rahtz wrote:
(moved out of order)
>Why do I have this worrying feeling that we are on the same side in
>this discussion, anyway?

I think so!  I'm not arguing with you, other than to assert that publishing 
economics sometimes dictates a move away from manual copyfitting and the 
like, and that this can be (to the users, obviously not to you! :-) a net 
win.  Actually, I'm sort of enjoying reminiscing about how we used to do 
things 10-15 years ago.

>no, the human inserts them in the source. we ran the book, viewed the
>pages, and corrected the bad breaks with PIs in the XML file, and
>reran the formatting.

>I am not 100% sure what "high-volume" means to you. The way I look at
>it, a 300 page book merits a couple of hours spent inserting PIs. If I
>was doing a 2000 page software manual, I'd make sure the design was such that
>bad page breaks were unlikely. So I would not, for instance, use
>narrow double columns in a job that was destined for large-scale batch
>processing (I worked on telephone bills earlier this year, for
>instance, 70000 page documents; obviously no question of manual

We were producing 30-50 documents of 50-1000 pages each, with partial draft 
builds nightly, internal reviews every couple of weeks, and final versions 
every few months.  We had 2-3 different outputs.  One was US letter 
PostScript output; we did try to spend the time to fix bad page breaks, but 
as the volume and pace increased, and as our primary (read: moneymaking) 
output switched to electronic, it became less cost-effective to put time 
into that.  The one thing we spent significant time tweaking was 
quick-reference cards.

>My point is that FO needs to cope with 70000 phone bills, 300 page
>books, and 4 page tightly-constrained wedding invitations.

(Interestingly, the introduction to the XSL spec refers to "goals," but 
they're not spelled out anywhere that I can see...  The XSL requirements 
document also doesn't get to this abstract a level, other than saying page 
fidelity is a non-goal.)  This is perhaps a good goal, but very ambitious; 
I don't know of any single product on the market today that claims to be 
optimized for all three.

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

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