-----Original Message-----
From: Savino, Matt C [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: February 27, 2002 9:15 PM
Subject: RE: XMLSpy - FOP

Thanks Peter. I'm really glad to hear some positive news about the redesign!
I'll try to get on that list and check out the code. I like reading Perl,
it's therapeutic when you have to deal with Java all day long. I'm sure FOP
is a very tough problem. I regretted the tone of that last email as soon as
I spit it out. I'm just not having a very great day. I know from watching
the fop-dev list for the last year or so that all the active players on FOP
are very concientious, hard-working and know what they're doing. Maybe you
can look at my little outburst as a rare window into the frustrations that
some of the end users are feeling but have the tact to withhold.
[ SNIP ]

-----End Of Original Message-----

Hi, Matt

Let me clarify. The redesign is what Keiron & Karen (primarily) are working
on. It is a redesign for FOP.

What I started last fall is another project, which is intended to produce a
C/C++ XSL-FO formatter. This is called xslfo-proc, and is on Sourceforge. I
had a number of reasons for diverting my energies from FOP, and they had to
do with limited free time last summer (due to intense real work) and a
general burnout with how complicated FOP had gotten. xslfo-proc got off to a
slow start, mainly because the company I was working for in real life went
bust in October, and it's only this month that I got back into it.

I did enough UML design last fall to realise that that was a waste of time.
So a month ago I started working on a Perl prototype. I uploaded the first
code yesterday but please don't expect this to actually be doing any layout
yet. There is a lot there already, though, and at my current pace I expect
to have some pretty good layout happening within a month.

I have no intentions of abandoning FOP, but the redesign for FOP was and is
critical, and only so many people can usefully do that - two max, IMO. When
the redesign started I was out of the loop, so now I am waiting like
everyone else. In the meantime I am devoting most of my efforts to
xslfo-proc - it has a different approach and I hope it complements FOP
rather than competes with it. My intention further down the road is to fold
it back into Apache when the codebase is mature, there is a community built
up around it, and the time is right.

I'll second one specific comment of Peter's very strongly. I also believe
that an XSL formatter project that is going to succeed has to tackle the
whole problem. Formatting is not very modular, in other words. Not
everything needs to be implemented right away but it sure needs to be
considered, and a place for everything needs to be built in. The existing
FOP shows us that retrofitting doesn't work.

I'll welcome your interest in the xslfo-proc project if you feel like a
break from Java. I don't mind admitting that since I work with Java every
day in real life that the opportunity to get back to Perl (and C down the
road) was not an unpleasant thought. :-)


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