XSL and Device-Independent Formatting

James Tauber jtauber at jtauber.com
Fri Sep 11 06:27:29 BST 1998

-----Original Message-----
From: David Megginson <david at megginson.com>
>I think that people are over-thinking the problem.

I agree.

>Try this on for size: an XSL formatter produces a device-independent
>formatting tree, then can render the same tree in different concrete
formats >(PDF, PS, DVI, or what have you).  As a happy co-incidence, it
happens that
> the intermediate formatting tree -- like most structured information --
>can be serialised as an XML document.

>That means that, if you wish, the two parts of the process (building
>the device-independent formatting tree and rendering the tree) can be
>handled by separate programs, since the XML provides a common
>interchange standard.

This is exactly right and FOP takes advantage of it. At present it reads in
an XML representation of the "formatting tree" via SAX and spits out PDF.
This way it can work with XT and any other XSL processors that may emerge. I
can, at a latter stage, tie it in directly to XT, and it'll access the
formatting tree directly. Having the XML serialisation is great.

James Tauber / jtauber at jtauber.com      http://www.jtauber.com/
Lecturer and Associate Researcher
Electronic Commerce Network             ( http://www.xmlinfo.com/
Curtin Business School                  ( http://www.xmlsoftware.com/
Perth, Western Australia                ( http://www.schema.net/

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