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Re: [xml-dev] Formatting XML as ascii Text

That's an interesting problem: I'm confused about the wrapping 
requirement though.  Do you need to wrap at a given number of characters 
(sounded like 40?) or a pixel (or inch) width?  Your comment about the 
variable-width font makes it sound like you are printing or displaying 
on screen with a particular font.  It's obviously much simpler if you 
don't have to worry about fonts, variable character widths, vagaries of 
printer drivers and the like.


David A. Lee wrote:
> I have a project where I need to take XML and format it as ascii text.
> Sounds simple right ? But alas the requirements are subtle.  It seems 
> people dont do text formatting much anymore.
> I fondly remember the days of nroff where I could do good text 
> formatting and achieve things like word splitting (hyphenating),
> justification etc on text content.  In particular a challenge is to 
> support multi column tables.  Thats right, text spanning 5 columns,
> that needs to wrap in each column.   Oh and do that with 40 column 
> line widths. Piece of cake.
> Oh and its a Variable width text font ... ha !
> What I tried so far which almost works sorta, just enough to not work 
> well enough :)
> Translate the XML to HTML with XSLT then I downloaded one of the free 
> "HTML to Text" tools which are prevalent on the net.
> It sorta did work, except for the tables.   But I need something that 
> can work in a production environment.   Open Source is prefered,
> but if it does an excellent job then a commercial product could be 
> justified (pun intended).
> My next attempt will to try Apache FOP.    I looked at RenderX but 
> they dont claim text output.
> Apache FOP claims a text output but with caveots, the claim is its not 
> robust code with poor results.
> Maybe they are being kind and it really works great.   I will try.
> Any other suggestions ?   I can always 'roll my own' but this project 
> is not on the budget yet and were trying to see if we can do something 
> with minimal work.
> Appreciated,
> thanks,

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