Dear Foppies,

it has come to my attention that not everyone seems to be happy that
some of us are looking into a new design for the intermediate format
which on first glance only helps those who are doing mass document
production. OTOH, these considerations help in a long-term improvement
of our rendering infrastructure. Several features are currently not
adressed: tagged PDF, z-index, accessibility (role, natural language)
etc. But yes, these are mainly side-effects. The main driver is want for
speed. No use pretending otherwise.

And that doesn't really help towards FOP 1.0. In June 2006, some of you
have listed the features they want done before a FOP 1.0:
What remains is:
- integer keep values
- changing available IPD between pages (Simon is working on that)
- page-number-citation improvements

Only the collapsing border model is now there and I think that
fo:wrapper is mostly ok now (haven't checked lately). I still consider
none of these points a requirement for a 1.0 release, not for a software
so widely adopted. A 1.0 is just a signal which is listened for by some
but not necessarily for the reasons that caused the above list. But even
so, once we're publishing 1.0 I can already hear people saying: "what?
It took them 9 years to come up with version 1.0? And it still only
implements a subset of FO?" Whether we implement all of the above
features or not, the reaction will be more or less the same. Ok,
maybe I'm just venting my frustration again. So, back to business:

Is anyone else against Chris, Adrian and I going after a new
intermediate format approach in FOP Trunk? If necessary and if it helps,
we can do that in a branch. We do have a certain dilemma here: the ideal
world looks different than the business world. Of course, we're all
trying to pay attention to the long-term goals of the project but at
times shorter term issues can become more important to those who are
sponsoring my efforts, for example. With the amount of work piling up on
my desk from my clients it's sometimes difficult to retain some
motivation and energy to do much else for the project. Bigger things
anyway. But on the other hand, much of what the sometimes silent
sponsors contributed in the background brought FOP where it is today.

I think it would make sense if we revised our plan towards FOP 1.0. We
should make sure we are all on the same track again. We neglected that a
bit in the last 18 months. After all, the project charter says we should
have an up-to-date project plan.


Jeremias Maerki

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