WHAT'S THIS?????
I DIDN'T WRITE THIS MESSAGE!
Is there something wrong with the server or is this just a sick joke?
Guy

----- Original Message -----
From: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Monday, October 28, 2002 11:05 AM
Subject: Fopping 1-12 to Jan-Dec


> All I wanted to do was convert a month number 1-12 to month name.
>
> I have the Beginning XSLT Wrox book, and Kay's XSLT 2nd Ed.
>
> I'm enthused about learning this stuff, and yet there
> are some major turnoffs being encountered.
>
> Generating documents with FOP is what I'm trying to
> do. I know TeX, so the XSL:FO is not too strange.
> I have the ORA book for XSL:FO.
>
> I've received an XLST-FO source to maintain, and when I
> saw the enumerated if-test sequence to choose a month
> name from 1-12, I thought, "There's got to be a shorter
> way."
>
> Page 95 of Kay's book:
>
>     <xsl:variable name="months">
>         <January/><February/><March/><April/><May/><June/><July/>
>         <August/><September/><October/><November/><December/>
>     </xsl:variable>
>
>     <xsl:value-of select="name($months/*[position()=2])" />
>
> I've hard-coded February in this example.
> Result: [ERROR] No flow found for region-body in page-master 'first'
>
> The code is in the header part of the document-code, in a
> '<fo:static-content...>'. But I tried in a non-static flow,
> and tried a template version. Nogo.
>
> <Polemic>
>
> I'd like to say how utterly disgusted I am at the error messages
> coming out of my XSLT (FOP) compiles/transformations.
>
> Kay's book erroneously shows that last line above as:
>
>     <xsl:value-of select="name($months/*[position()=$mm" />
>
> FYI, his Wrox book's errata page is 404.
>
> When I have the erroneous line in the source, I get over 800
> lines of error messages.
>
> What, did a 12-yo kid write XSLT-FOP?
>
> For bleep's sake get a hold of a professional compiler writer
> and put in the necessary structures for "normal" error msgs.
>
> Can you imagine the outcry if GNU's gcc did the same thing
> when one line of code had a syntax error?
>
> Apparently I have to type in a few lines of code and see if
> it compiles before entering more code, because otherwise there's
> no way to figure out what's wrong! As in, 'The error messages
> are so bad I have to resort to commenting out code just to have
> a freakin' clue as to where I went wrong.'
>
> What kind of way to develop is that?
>
> Yes, I recognize this as Java-style "throwing an exception", or
> in this case, "FOPException()." Not an excuse.
>
> No, I am not volunteering my time, and I can't code Java.
>
> Recently I came up to speed on perl, compiled 8.0 on my
> Sun SPARC Solaris 8 boxen, and found perl even has a
> verbose error message mode that will give you a paragraph
> or two on what the error msg (always for a given line#)
> might be about and how to fix. Sometimes FOP doesn't even
> cough up a line number.
>
> FOP's non-existent implementation of error reporting is
> wasting a lot of programmer time and no doubt retards its use.
>
> It should be a top priority for upgrading.
>
> </Polemic>
>
> A newbie hunting and pecking through books and Google results...
>
> I tried xmlns:date="http://exslt.org/dates-and-times";, but
> that URL is 404. (I emailed Tennison, and also Wrox about
> their 404.)
>
> So, FOP doesn't have EXSLT functions?
>
> I downloaded date.zip from exslt.org and added it to the
> stylesheet declaration, and an 'xsl:import'.
>
> Now it says it can't find a string padding function.
>
> Hunt...okay, downloaded and unzipped the 'str.zip' deal.
>
> Updated the source...damn, same error.
>
> Apparently the 'date' routines are referring to the 'str' routines
> underneath the 'date' subdir 'functions.'
>
> Okay, I tar the 'str' functions directory to overlay the 'date' one.
>
> Nogo. Gave up this approach.
>
>
> Hmmm, the web pages say the newest 'xalan' has EXSLT built-in.
> Can I load its jars into the FOP lib directory and get them?
>
> http://xml.apache.org/fop/relnotes.html
> FOP 0.20.4
>     *  FOP should now work with any JAXP1.1 compliant parser/transformer.
>        It has been successfully tested with Xerces/Xalan, Saxon and JDK1.4
>        (which includes Crimson and Xalan).
>     *  The following JARs have been updated: Xerces to version 2.0.1,
>        Xalan to version 2.3.1 and Batik to version 1.5beta2.
>
> Maybe?
>
> Downloading 'xalan-j_2_4_0-bin.tar.gz' from
http://xml.apache.org/xalan-j/index.html.
>
> Gunzip, no problem. But the untar...
>
> x
xalan-j_2_4_0/docs/apidocs/org/apache/xalan/transformer/class-use/Transforme
rImpl.html, 55055 bytes, 108 tape blocks
> tar: directory checksum error
>
> Just fabulous.
>
> I successfully do the zip version, backup FOP/lib, delete x*, move in
xalan's jars....
>
>     [ERROR] null
>
> Tweak...tweak...
>
>     java.lang.NullPointerException
>
> I'm stuck. Have I mentioned:
>
>     All I wanted to do was convert a month number 1-12 to month name.
>
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