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RE: [xml-dev] Formatting Processing Instructions

So some require PIs to support

o  system ids

o  change tracking

o  short duration meta-descriptors

o  medium legacy code

o  page fidelity

Any more?

You're the XML Cheech Wizards.  The contest:  how many of these can be
knocked off over five beers?  The prize:  five beers. You get to pick the


From: Betty Harvey [mailto:harvey@eccnet.com] 


You don't see formatting instructions like in the 'olden days' -- thank
goodness.  But they are still around. Most of the common XML editors use
processing instructions for change tracking.

Microsoft also uses processing instructions for their XML Excel and Word
files so they recognize the file and open it appropriately.  Similar to
the <?xml-stylesheet?> processing instruction.

I have used processing instructions on occasion when doing conversion as a
way of showing clients what was being removed or modified from their
original documents during conversion for 'warm and fuzzy'.  Once we are
assured the conversion is working correctly they go away.

FOSI's are almost dead - thank goodness (again). Arbortext still can use
them but they are moving away to their Styler which is a mix of FOSI and
XSLT.  I think Datalogic still uses FOSI's.

So IMHO processing instructions can be helpful but we aren't seeing the
abuse of them as before.  In the old days people were interested in page
fidelity and processing instructions were useful for maintaining some of
the original formatting information that didn't lend value to the actual
data.  There is still certain pockets, i.e., old tech manuals, old
legislation, where is this still important but not as much as before.


> I've been away from XML military tech pubs for some years, so a
> question:  are formatting processing instructions still very common or
> should XSL-FO, FOSI etc. have eliminated those by now?
> Is this
> <?PubTbl row rht="0.31in" />
> still common in delivered documents?   Does this impact the reusability
> of the deliverable?
> I had thought items like that were long gone but apparently not.
> Len Bullard
> ILS Manager
> Science and Engineering Services, Inc
> 248 Dunlop Blvd.
> Huntsville, AL 35824
> len.bullard@ses-i.com

Betty Harvey                         | Phone:  410-787-9200  FAX: 9830
Electronic Commerce Connection, Inc. |
harvey@eccnet.com                    | Washington,DC XML Users Grp
URL:  http://www.eccnet.com          | http://www.eccnet.com/xmlug
Member of XML Guild (www.xmlguild.org)


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