I think "struggling" might be understating it, at least for me.  Kull Wahad!  Why does 
the work come in faster than time?  I think I smell the secret to hyperspace here...

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeremias Maerki [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
Sent: Wednesday, October 09, 2002 2:07 PM
Subject: Re: New Developer Suggestion

Hi Scott

Your offer is highly appreciated even if the feedback to your initial
mail was a bit sparse. :-) We're all struggling for time to work on FOP
and gladly take any helping hand.

On 09.10.2002 17:15:21 Sauyet, Scott (OTS-HAR) wrote:
> > = Bertrand Delacretaz <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> >> = Scott Sauyet <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> >> Does anyone have a suggestion about something I could look at fixing /
> >> enhancing which is not mission-critical, but which might give me a chance
> >> to look at a fair bit of the code?
> > The integration of jfor (www.jfor.org) as a structure renderer for RTF 
> > documents is still waiting for someone to jump in. If you have good java 
> > skills and want to tackle this one we can certainly help you find your
> way.
> I expect my Java skills are up to the task.  This is all J2SE, right?  I
> have no experience with J2ME, and only a little with J2EE.

That's fully sufficient. We're only doing J2SE here.

> I don't really have a sense of the charter of FOP.  I know that there is a
> an AWT Renderer as well as the PDF converter, but is that meant more as a
> testing system than as something critical to the central project?  Or do I
> misunderstand?  So is integrating other renderers something that the group
> would eventually like to do?

FOP already has quite a bunch of renderers: PDF, AWT, PS, MIF, Text etc.
PDF is the classic renderer. It has traditionally the best quality. The
redesign focuses on PDF at the moment and as soon as the layout is
advanced enough we will surely begin to reimplement the other renderers
again. AFP and others will also be welcome additions.

So, we're not really talking about a testing system. PDF is just the
most important format. And AWT output is just another.

> For me, that would be a real plus, as I'm hoping to eventually work with
> PDLs for high-volume printers.

As FOP is in a redesign phase it would be nice to have help with
bringing FOP's layout to the level of the current maintenance branch
before implementing more output formats. PDF is the reference and once
this works acceptably we can think about reimplementing all other
renderers including new ones. Integrating JFOR as suggested by Betrand
is also a good idea, because it doesn't depend so much on the layout
stuff. Actually, we can't tell you what you should do. If you like to
implement a AFP renderer, then do it. Any help is welcome.

Look here for todo lists:
(Unfortunately we don't have a single todo list ATM)
- http://cvs.apache.org/viewcvs.cgi/xml-fop/status.xml
- http://xml.apache.org/fop/todo.html
- Bugzilla
To get familiar with FOP and the new design the following is a good
starting point:

> > But note that this part of FOP is not at all related to PDF layout, fonts,
> > etc., it's a fairly different way of rendering documents.
> As of today, I know nothing about PDF syntax and little about RTF.  I figure
> I'm going to have to learn both.  I understand FO fairly well, and I speak
> Java fairly fluently.  What do you think is first priority?
> So how would we expect this to integrate.  What user code would change to 
> generate an RTF document rather than a PDF one?
> And as to mechanics, what code should I start with?

The output format is decided in the org.apache.fop.apps.Driver class ATM.
Use that as a starting point. The StructureHandler class is the another
important focus point for integrating RTF. You should also search the
mailing list archives for the discussion on the JFOR integration. That
will explain how this should be done.

Good luck diving into FOP. We'll try to support you as best as we can.
Fire away with questions as they come up!

Jeremias Maerki

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