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   Re: [xml-dev] Future of XSL-FO at W3C??

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From: "m batsis" <mbatsis@netsmart.gr>

> But since you are talking about requierements, FO is far too complex and 
> verbose for no apparent reason (in my eyes at least). Instead of 
> duplicating the semantics of CSS in XML syntax, it should have been 
> using CSS directly for the same reasons XPath expressions are not 
> written as XML.

Another point to consider is that FO is an XML interface that fits on pretty
well to the way some people's formatters work.  For example, the 3B2 people
told me that it was very straightforward to put a FO interface on their system;
FO was influenced by DSSSL, which was influenced largely by FrameMaker
and Interleaf.  It certainly may be more difficult to do ports for steam-based
systems such as neo-troffs, but not for the object-based typesetting systems.

On the other hand, some makers of formatting tools think that it is a redundant 
step which implies that you need XSLT, which then implies you are not using 
a streaming solution but a random-access solution, which means you cannot 
cope with larger documents efficiently, which means you need to use a database, 
which means you need to have a query language, etc. etc.  

The people who are making FO tend to have a typesetting background
and want to move Web typography up from its current pathetic standard.
Whether there is room for both FO and PDF, will be interesting, now that 
PDF has added XML support.  FO may end up being used as an abstract 
interface rather than an intermediate format that documents are actually 
translated to.  

Rick Jelliffe


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