Almost A Book Review:

Professional XSL
Published by Wrox
49.99 USD
38.99 UKP
ISBN: 1-861003-57-9
Review by Alex McLintock

I was quite pleased when I got this book for review: I thought it had a whole
chapter on FOP. It doesn't.

What it does have is a chapter on CSS and XSL:FO. I guess I do need to read all of the 
CSS section to know what I can and can't do with font styling and the like. 
So I get to the XSL-FO part of the chapter. It starts off with a good description
of where FO fits into the world, and how the page is broken up into regions. 
It lists the 56 XSL-FO elements, and points out that many of them have html 
analogies (eg the "list" ones). And then I flipped back and forth trying to find 
an explanation of each one. I flipped in vain.

The explanation of the structure of an XSL-FO Document was good. I think it is better
than the documentation with FOP - but that documentation has improved since I 
first read it.

It talks about creating XSL-FO files from XSLT - something I haven't yet needed to do
since I've generated the fo directly.

And then for some reason the author uses Antenna House XSL Formatter. This seems to
be an add on for Microsoft Internet Explorer and so is useless for generating PDF.
Hurrah. A few pages later we find FOP mentioned. The exact file they use in their 
is which doesn't
seem to exist any more. Perhaps we can re-instate it - or redirect users to a 
the current release.

Sadly it doesn't really talk about FOP in any more detail than enough to get it going.

What else might you like to know:

It has a whole chapter on SVG! Unfortunately this chapter seemed a bit
disappointing too. It didn't give me any examples I wanted, for instance, on 
dotted lines. (I have some color line graphs which I want to produce with
different styles of dotted lines for rendering on a black and white printer).

The next thing I want to learn about is Cocoon. Cocoon is mentioned - but once. 
Oh well. Never mind.

Coming Soon - Professional XSLT Second Edition - also from WROX.


Copyright in this article resides with its author, Alex McLintock.
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For more Computing book reviews from Alex McLintock see 


Alex McLintock        [EMAIL PROTECTED]    Open Source Consultancy in London
OpenWeb Analysts Ltd, 
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