I found the following essay in Knuth’s Digital Typography informative:

“Breaking Paragraphs Into Lines”.


From: Glenn Adams [mailto:gl...@skynav.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2013 10:11 AM
To: FOP Developers
Subject: Re: Adding a new layout manager

On Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 9:56 PM, sdridi 
<sdr...@iptech-group.com<mailto:sdr...@iptech-group.com>> wrote:
Glenn Adams-2 wrote
> I would suggest you not just read code but run it with Eclipse or NetBeans
> to trace the execution process. That is one of the best ways to learn
> actual code behavior.
Yes of course, debugging is my only way to break FOP mystery

Glenn Adams-2 wrote
> Maybe that somebody is you! :)
That would be an honor, but not before I master how FOP works

Back to my main topic of discussion, if anyone can shed some light on FOP
layout engine, I'd be very grateful.

You can start by reading [1]. Then, if you are really dedicated and want to 
delve further, read the relevant parts of TeX: The Program [2]. Or, if you 
prefer to read Lisp (Scheme), then you can find a faithful transcription of the 
TeX line breaker at [3], which I wrote in 1990 or so. Once you've internalized 
this information, you are ready to tackle the FOP line breaker.

Good luck! Glenn

[2] http://yaojingguo.blogspot.com/2009/02/produce-tex-program-from-texweb.html
[3] http://people.apache.org/~gadams/random/tex.scm.txt

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