Response below (one of these glorious days, I can stop using Outlook...)

-----Original Message-----
From: Glen Mazza [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Tuesday, May 27, 2003 7:49 PM
Subject: RE: hack to avoid memory overflow with tables

>FOP is ultimately a mathematical entity, so we should
be able to avoid the matter-of-opinion conclusions
that would lead to multiple layout strategies.<

While I believe this is generally true, I remain skeptical that there is always a 
perfect layout strategy available every time.  I think this might especially be true 
in cases of overconstraint relaxing or recovering from anomalous documents.  My first 
impression is that either of these processes will largely be governed by heuristics, 
and it's my experience that where heuristics are involved, matters of opinion quickly 

Moreover, is FOP really that far from, say, the HTML rendering engine in a web browser 
with respect to layout decisions?  I see a lot of "interpretations" and "opinions" 
going on in those engines, which is why two browsers sometimes interpret my HTML table 
layouts in different ways.

>While there can be plenty of discussion of how best to
obtain #1 and #2, once it is determined that solution
A takes x seconds and solution B takes x + 2 seconds,
you tend to go with solution A.  So over the long
term, multiple layout strategies may not be needed. <

They may not, but I think they might.  I can safely say that I haven't read all of the 
FO spec, but I do see the word "may" cropping up from time to time with respect to 
spec compliance.  I don't think we can create a single layout strategy that correctly 
selects the correct side of that "may" every time.  For certain classes of documents 
(which, for argument's sake, aren't readily detectable in a programmatic way), the 
choice has to be made, and why not leave that choice in the hands of programmers and 

I just mention these sorts of things because, all too often, spec compliance 
eventually becomes a matter of opinion anyway.

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