Step 1: Specify what has to be done!

What are the requirements? What has to be supported? Which operating
environments? I'm afraid there is no common understanding, i.e. a fairly
precise specification in a few sentences, for these recent examples below.

Step 2: How can the specified requirements be implemented?

Look for and investigate candidate solutions!

Step 3: Which is the most reasonable candidate solution?

Evaluate candidate solutions and all their consequences! Select the most
appropriate one!

Step 4: Implementation

Contributors take over the job with a solid background.


1. Requirements:
- generate revisable documents from XML data, preferably RTF?
- support images, graphics, indices, TOC's, tables, viewing/printing?

2 Candidate solutions

2.1 FOP

2.2 XSLT

3. Evaluation

3.1 FOP

This is the RTF text of a very simple RTF document:

\viewkind4\uc1\pard\f0\fs20 paragraph 1 and text\par
paragraph 2 and text\par

The first line is some declarations (character set, font f0), followed by
next lines containing the document text.

What is FOP supposed to do? The structure is fundamentally different from
XSL:FO without any kind of declarations ("style sheets"). We do not see any
page coordinates, pagination controls.

3.2 XSLT

RTF text can be generated by XSLT. An infrastructure organisation of "XSLT
stylesheets" is needed to generate "RTF stylesheets".


Java Viewer

1. Requirement
- Display XSL:FO documents in a Swing/AWT window? PDF?
- Support: view/print, images, graphics?

2 Candidate solutions

2.1 AWT Renderer

2.2 Acrobat Reader

2.3 Java PDF Viewer

2.4 Java SVG Viewer

3. Evaluation

3.1 AWT

What's wrong with the AWT renderer: are there just programming errors or
were system limitations hit?

3.2 Acrobat Reader

Acrobat Reader is THE full function PDF viewer. Is there a way to run
Acrobat Reader in a Java window: Mozilla, OLE by Java, ...?

3.3 Java PDF Viewer

Pretty hard to develop a full function viewer.

3.4 Java SVG Viewer

Is code available? If yes, image handling is to be solved.

These examples are just meant to explane my request. Similar considerations
apply to FOP extensions. Only a systematic approach will allow efficent
development and evolution of FOP.


Hansuli Anderegg

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