I do agree that XML data offer interoperability and many many high feature regarding to data tranform and sync and exchange. XSL FO is really a nice solution because it helps to build paginated presentation layers that longs for a long time.
But I would like to say that FO and other XML subtongues are not here to kill proprietary tools. Only format is an issue here. This is why FO can be a real good choice. It does not tie you to a tool vendor. Yet it does not kill tools, it simply takes care of some part of the job. If a publishing tool is only a proprietary format, than FO will make it obsolete but then it would only be the proof that the tool had no real added-value. Many Publishing tools offer high level publishing option to create, manage and maintain content. FO just answer one of the issues : standard paginated description. Having a W3C Recomendation is a real superior model in this case.
As for other questions :
the relation between XSL and XSL FO offers a decoupled paginated description layer. XSL tells you that tranformation is different from Formatting by naming xslt and fo namespaces. They want solution providers to keep this in mind in order to offer long term stability and higher level publishing model.
For instance, you can use the page number as a parameter to test if you use LaTeX (this is a great language, ver mature. I hope thousnds of TeX/LaTeX people will come to work on FO) but it is forbidden in FO. You do not programaticaly have acces to the value of the page-number of a specific page . So you will have to test something that has some meaning in your XML data with xsl. This way, you really have decoupled logic/presentation layer. One may see it as a disadvantage but it helps you to focus on each layer/logic/responsability level thus allow you to have higher level maintenance process...
Ok, enough now, it is kind of difficult to sum this up...
Hope that helps...
At 12:59 29/04/2002 +0200, you wrote:
I do not know the proprietary tools.
What can I say to you that will convice you?
The power of standards and open-source.
Standards allows interoperability. You do not need to buy
the specs of any closed-source format in order to make a bridge to (let's say) PDF or RTF :-)
Force of the open-source is that improvements in the software impacts all the users. Apache httpd is the most significative example (or Linux also).
The third problem is that if everyone migrates to FO, the companies behind those proprietary formats will disappear. If you plan to
use you datas for a long time, it is rather a difficult choice.
At last, using a XML format allows it to get its content from different sources. For example, a big usage of XSL:FO is for dynamic PDF creation from various (very) different XML sources.
Patrick Andries wrote:
Before convincing people to use specifically, FOP I would like to convince people that FO is a superior model than traditional model of proprietary solutions (3B2, Compuset) for documents that both FOP and those traditional tools can produce.
In other words, is FO a good strategic directions.
Some questions a bit more precise :
1) What are the advantages of people using XSL-FO as page description language rather than the ones their could be using with proprietary tools ?
2) I understand that everything related with XML (XSLT/XSL-FO) has a modern flavour that few techies can resist, but what are the objectives reasons ?
3) Are they any advantages to FO being integrated with XSLT that the proprietary tools would not have ?
Does somebody know if any of the big software publishing companies are considering XSL-FO support ?