Not entirely correct, Arved. I'm not a great specialist on literature, but I
recall reading Tortilla Flat by J. Steinbeck at school. I remember a woman
in the story who faked to clean her flat with a vacuum cleaner - the _first_
vacuum cleaner in Tortilla Flat - although there was no electricity in the
entire quarter...

The FOP documentation "problem", as I see it, is a combination of different
factors. It has happened to us quite frequently that something didn't work,
and we had to
1 find documentation on FO which supplied us with, say for instance, 2
contradictory statements on the syntax of an attribute; neither worked
2 assume devoutly that we had committed an error (true in 50% of the cases)
3 find out, whether someone would understand our problem and give us a
4 still have problems
5 back to 1
Sometimes the source of the problem was that a feature of FO wasn't
implemented, or that it wasn't implemented with a certain FOP version; that
a problem was due to performance problems; that I didn't succeed in
articulating what I needed so that someone would understand it, or that
answers wheren't formulated in a way that I understood them etc. etc.
You can immagine that, for instance, non-appearing graphics lead into
intensive testing with regard to (a) the behaviour of FOP/Cocoon under
different Windows versions (b) different compressions of graphic files -
nothing. Then someone in the list tells you, the region containing a graphic
must be big enough, otherwise FOP tacitly drops the picture. Hormons of
happiness spread throughout the office. The result: some files appear, some
not. Why? Questions, counter-questions and counter-counter-questions to the
list: because FOP does with GIF's so and so, and with TIFF's so and so etc.
Ok. Learn everything you didn't know about graphic formats. Implement it.
Wait 10 minutes, and you don't get your file compiled.
Testing-testing-testing: no significant result. Question-question-question:
because of a performance problem. How to solve it? Hmmm... - Another session
of questions and counter-questions bothering other people while they try to
do honest work. The hapiness-generating answer: portion the stuff you send
through the processor. How? Does anybody know how to accomplish this? Please
help... - Etc. etc. etc.
I quoted the example of graphics because it was the most nerve-consuming.
Nevertheless, by far it wasn't the only one.

My whish to Santa Clause this year: A big fat list containing all major
graphic formats and the FO/FOP-related aspects that concern them. Right on
the FOP page where everybody cannot avoid to take notice. With a big, red or
yellow triangled exclamation mark and the wording: Hey, dummies (like me):
before you get into this business, think of what you wanna achieve and
consider these warnings, or it'll cost you real time+effort=money!

Imagine a database outputting a table with all the FO commands in one column
and updated, fresh-of-the-day remarks, warnings, examples etc. like above in
the example. Enhanced, XML-based search functions. Sit back, take a drink,
and find in a second all the bottlenecks that would have otherwise broken
your neck.

Am I a dreamer? Yes, I am.
Can dreams come true? Yes, they can.


-----Original Message-----
From: Arved Sandstrom [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2001 2:50 PM
Subject: Re: Basic aspects


When you say "documentation", I take it you mean operating instructions,
rather than stuff about XSL per se. Correct?

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