Florian,

On Oct 31, 2004, at 7:17 AM, Florian Hecht wrote:
Hi FOP devs,

I' ve developed a form extension for XSL-FO for an university project. It's an extension to FO like the fox extensions. With it you can declare and define the usual form elements like edit fields, radio buttons, check boxes, combo boxes, list boxes, comment fields and buttons. They are inserted into a document as inline objects, so that they flow like normal text. As a proof of concept I've extended fop-0.20.5 to support my form extension. I'm using the system around ExtensionObj to make fop understand my elements and I've extended the PDFRenderer to generate PDF documents that contain forms, that can be filled out and submitted just like normal HTML forms.

This is an oft-requested (once every couple of months counts as 'oft-'...) feature. Thank you for this information! This is exciting, and I can imagine it almost certainly being a tool others may want.


At the moment the module for fop consists of a jar archive with the classes and a new batch file to start the processing (I'm not using the fop class as a starter, because I need to create a different renderer). The system works so far and is able to generate all of the form elements named above. Submit and reset buttons work as they're supposed to. I didn't test every layout situation for the form elements, so it might produce unexpected layout in some cases. As I said it's a proof of concept implementation and not a final product.

The reason why I'm announcing this is that I will finish the project in a couple of days and I don't think I will develop the form extension any further. Maybe someone will find the sources usefull as a starting point or is even willing to develop it further. The sources and the precompiled jar archive can be found at my homepage [1]. I've also got an example fo document with my extension there, together with the resulting PDF file. So anyone who's interested can take a quick look at it. The paper I'm writing on this project will be released in couple of days (in German though, Studienarbeit) together with a little documentation on the form extension in English.

I just wanted to let you know. If you have any questions, just ask me. Any feedback is welcome.

Cheers,
Florian Hecht

P.S.: should I also post this on fop-user?

[1] http://wwwstud.ira.uka.de/~s_hecht/

I went to that page, but the PDF link doesn't work.

Before you post on fop-user perhaps you/we should transfer it to a more 'permanent' server (since your e-mail will be in the FOP archives in perpetuity). I'm thinking that a good to place for this extension is on the 'Objects For Formatting Objects' Sourceforge project page[2] (assuming that Simon Pepping and/or other FOP committers agree). However, before we do that, we need to ensure it has the proper licensing. Please go to Apache Software Grants page for information on how to transfer[3].

Also, as you are probably aware, fop-0.20.5 (the fop-0_20_2-maintain branch) is a dead-end (it's in code freeze so FOP development can focus all energies on the FOP 1.0 release). It would be *HUGE* (!) if you could 'port' your work over to the 1.0-dev (HEAD branch). Since you are intimately aware with the inner workings of your code, no one will be able to do this more efficiently or effectively.

[2]
http://offo.sourceforge.net/
[3]
http://www.apache.org/licenses/software-grant.txt

Web Maestro Clay
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