Project Defoe <>, formerly Fop alt-design, is focussed on a Java 2D renderer, robust and complete. By complete I mean, in particular, able to correctly handle last-page, keeps, table auto-layout and large files. Don't make the mistake of thinking that, because FOP has been around for a long time, it is only the place to be for open source XSL-FO development. Rather, ask why, if it has been around for such a long time, these problems haven't been solved. Don't make the mistake of thinking that all software problems are solved by simply applying more resources.

Having said that, let me add that the project seems to have found its shepherd, in the form of Finn Bock. Many of the long-standing innovations of alt-design in the property handling have at last been introduced by Finn, who has the happy knack of being able to completely rewrite large chunks of FOP by applying a wide-ranging but complete set of changes. He may well solve FOP's remaining critical problems in the same way.

The point is, that FOP needs a major design overhaul. I'm doing that at Defoe, and Finn is doing it, piecemeal, at FOP. His focus though is not on Java 2D, and getting a "complete and robust" implementation of the 2D renderer will depend on Finn's new design. If you want to know more about where FOP is headed, ask Finn.

Defoe is Java 5.0 based. If that doesn't work for you, don't bother with Defoe. Otherwise, if you are interested in avenues for your XSL-FO development efforts, I am happy to talk to you.


Mark Brucks wrote:
I'd like to join the fop development group. I've been an xsl/fop user for the last year or so (generating PDF), but several new projects I'm proposing have a need for a robust and complete awt renderer, and I'd like to devote some time to ensuring this happens. I have a little bit of time in the near term to commit to the project, and I hope much more time starting in the April time frame. I'd like to use the next 2 months to come up to speed, then dive in to serious work when more time is available.

I need some advice. I've learned enough about xsl and fop to get my job done, but there are lots of holes in my knowledge base. I'd like to spend a little bit of time carefully reading the XSL spec. Should I read the XSL V1.1 working draft (in anticipation of things to come), or should I stick with the V1.0 recommendation (which I assume is what the new version of fop will implement).

Do the development and design documents that are available on-line relate to the root/trunk/redesign version, or do they still describe the maintenance branch?

Is there a development schedule or a prioritized list of features to be implemented?

Is anybody else actively working on the awt rendered for the next release?

Since this is my first foray into open-source development, any and all advice is welcome.

Thanks - Mark Brucks

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