Joe DeVivo wrote:

> I just stumbled on to Fop earlier this week and it looks like something
> I can really get into working on. I've been looking at the source and

Good choice. I think FOP is one of the coolest projects imaginable.

> getting my feet wet, like with the patch I just submitted for the Ant
> Task. I also have an idea on max-height and max-width for
> external-graphic. Once I learn my way around the source I'd like to
> take on bigger tasks. Any suggestions for a good place to start? I'm a
> programmer by trade, working mostly in J2EE over the last 4 years.
> Plenty of XML and HTML experience to boot, but not a lot when it comes
> to PDFs and rendering, and I'm picking up XSL and XSL-FO pretty
> quickly.

As you have already discovered, layout is where we need the most help. It is
also the most complex, and I don't know that any of our active developers
understands the new layout strategy, which is called layoutmgr (Joerg is the
possible exception). Whether that is a "good place to start" would be
debatable. Probably a good guide is 1) what interests you, and 2) what you
have the capacity to do. Check out:
which is reachable from the Development tab on the web site (Design:
Unresolved), for a list of ideas. We don't really keep this stuff
up-to-date, and there really is a minimum of coordination. Be sure to read:
and to participate in the fop-dev mailing list (this list). You will get
*lots* of ideas of projects just listening and helping there.

> Also, I'm curious as to the state of the 1.0 release. I've rendered
> some pdfs that definitely have issues, but I don't really know if there
> issues are specific to my machine, or the fact that 1.0 isn't ready for
> prime-time. For example, I'm the first page of my PDF is never actually
> the first page, and I find it in various different places depending on
> the document. These worked fine under 0.20.5. Is there any place that
> issues like these are listed? I have never worked on an open source
> project before, so don't assume I know anything about how this actually
> works :)

I know we have 1.0 all over the place, but IMO we have 0.26 that needs to be
done first, and probably quite a few more releases before 1.0. It is almost
100% certain that any issues you have with 1.0 are not with anything
specific on your machine. It is pre-pre-alpha, more of an idea in progress
than a product. Since it is in a state of general "doesn't work", I don't
think there is any place where specifics are listed -- it would be too long
a list.

> Any advice you can give on working on this project or open source in
> general would be appreciated. Thanks and I look forward to helping out.

The social aspects are the most challenging for me. If I have x hours this
week to code on FOP, I will probably spend 2x discussing, debating,
documenting. Reaching consensus on important issues is more difficult and
time-consuming than you might think necessary. This is mostly because the
relationships are peer-to-peer. If you can be patient with that model, it
has some wonderful advantages as well.

Welcome aboard. Please let us know if we can help.

Victor Mote

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