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

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On Friday 18 October 2002 4:21 pm, Ian Tindale wrote:
> [strokes chin, 
> makes tea, wondering if I'm actually right - nah - nobody ever does that
> with PostScript unless they're mad or talk to themselves.].

In fact, what's the difference between storing cached FO docs and storing 
final PDF docs, in that case? PDF docs are ideally suited to storage, and 
often are treated that way. PDF docs are also often used on the web somehow 
by people who aren't fussy about the fact that their screens are the wrong 
way up and that hard-wired burned-in columnar presentation for print involves 
much scrolling (or did until PDF 1.4 and it's wonderful 
reflow/tagging/structural aspect which enables my Pocket PC to make use of 
(some) PDFs in galley form). 

I think it's important to stress that PDF is not going to die, and is ideal 
for much publishing and isn't threatened by XSL-FO. Similarly, XSL-FO is 
ideal (to pick one example - others exist) as a component part of a 
publication that might be editorially managed and implemented using web 
services (wha?) and workflows to enable (for example) extremely 
time-sensitive publication, using copy that simply will never have time for a 
centralised editorial sanctioning and massaging. 

Or alternatively, using the same sort of tech, it allows quite bespoke 
publishing, and perhaps depending upon who you are logged in as when you 
request your issue - staff level / managerial etc, you get what you want to 

Similarly, you could also implement a quite global or quite local publication 
which has no defined deadline or on-sale date - whenever you buy your copy, 
that's the latest, more or less - like many city newspapers are. Either way, 
in all these examples, you're talking about server-held editorial, and 
on-demand issuing of the printed matter (where on-demand might not 
necessarily be one person's demand - could be the entire print-run). Thus it 
could benefit situations where info simply ages of it's own accord.

There are lots of niches in the print/publishing world where XSL-FO can help 
out, but few would depend on cached FO docs. I'm convinced that keeping FO's 
is at least a false economy and at worst, asking for trouble.

Ian Tindale


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