Hallo developers, I think I should give my contribution in backing Keiron's statement. Please note that this is not some kind of a stuck-up, disengaged spectator's point of view. I think the FOP developers have done a great job, sacrificing time and money to achieve what has been achieved, and - as a beneficiary of it - I'd like to thank you for it cordially. I also would like to express gratefulness towards those who helped my colleagues and me in our wading through the difficulties we met on our way.
To help you to understand better who speaks: I am not a thorough-bred programmer. As a consultant, I'm trying to analyze different customers's needs, and as the mentor of my own company's programmers I develop ideas and help my colleagues in persuing these objectives. There are no programmers in our company capable of messing with the source code of Cocoon, or FOP, or anything linked to it. Therefore, sometimes FOP is to us like a black box, which doesn't make things easier. As a user, or "customer", however, I could express some clearcut opinions which might be interesting feedback for FOP developers: - Documentation. I know, there is no entitlement to documentation, or to anything else, in an open-source project. Nevertheless, I found that (a) W3C specs are great, but envisage no practical approach for those, like us, who are not the ultimate specialists; (b) books seem to be scarce, contain sometimes wrong or misleading information, are too superficial in their examples, i.e. show what anyone would retrieve from somewhere in the internet anyhow, and not always are systematic. It has cost us thousands and thousands of Euros to get hold of simple, necessary-to-operate information. Something like "SelfHTML", a site very popular among German HTML designers, would be needed. - Sometimes, I have the impression that FOP is a bit too web-oriented. I don't know whether it's true, but both my colleagues and I, at a certain point, got the impression that, when the HTML output side was finished, somebody said: "And what are we going to do next?", with someone else answering: "Let's do PDF". Of course, PDF is, first of all, a "portable" data format, i.e. it's web-oriented. But, more and more, it is used for typographical purposes. However, it is not possible to get anywhere near to printshop quality unless EPS and TIFF files of a certain resolution rate can be used. However, using twenty TIFFs of 1MB each puts FOP k.o. in a few milliseconds. due to my own experience, FOP seems designed to be uses with JPG/GIF pictures at 72dpi which look fine through the internet and on an ordinary office printer. Or take hyphenation: given the number of languages involved, certainly not an easy task. On the other hand, if hyphenation does not work properly - and we havent't got it to work properly with the W3C spec's language and country attributes for German and Germany - the output scores a further little minus (thinkofthoselongGermanwordswhich-iftheysliptothenextline-dontlooktoowell... ), and these minus points accumulate. Please let me underline at this point that FOP is held by us a valuable and very useful invention. We'll continue to utilize it, and we'll propagate the use of it. Nevertheless, it would be encouraging to see the effort, which is necessary to get it on its way, being reduced. You might reply: "So, why don't you get involved and help making it better?" Rightly so. The answer is: I can't, I haven't got the expertise. What I can do, I've done - to utter my point of view with some detail. Cordially Matthias -----Original Message----- From: Keiron Liddle [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]] Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2001 3:55 PM To: [EMAIL PROTECTED] Subject: Re: need help [...] While that is true there are certain things you need to realise. - there are serious layout issues that need to be addressed - performance and memory is very much tied up to how the whole system works, this makes it difficult to fix - getting FOP to a stage where there is a clear development direction is difficult - none of this will happen by itself It appears that more effort needs to be put towards communicating the issues involved and the way in which FOP can be improved. Yes it does need to be much better. --------------------------------------------------------------------- To unsubscribe, e-mail: [EMAIL PROTECTED] For additional commands, email: [EMAIL PROTECTED]