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Re: Help getting started with XSL PDF generation

Subject: Re: Help getting started with XSL PDF generation
From: Jon Gorman <jonathan.gorman@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2005 08:33:08 -0500
itextsharp xsl
On 10/19/05, Karl Stubsjoen <kstubs@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> I was think'n; that the rendered xsl:fo transformations would result
> in *pdf* code, and then by setting the content type of the browser to
> text/pdf, that the transformation would happen client side... am I off
> my rockers?  I'm thinking that a PDF rendering engine is not
> necessary.

I vaguely remember looking at something similar, that is, something
that would just write out a simple file directly into a pdf file
(using text output).  The thought was that it was a pretty simple
format so it should be straightforward.  There were a few problems
though, one being that you need to keep track of the bytes written out
to the pdf files if I remember correctly.  Since it was a personal
project and I already had some other things I believe I just used SAX
and a pdf library instead.  One could argue that it was not much
better than using a XSL-FO engine like FOP but it seemed quicker for

On the other hand, I wouldn't want to make a stylesheet that had to
perform this translation from xsl:fo.  If you generalize it it would
quickly become a very difficult problem.  Well, more so then it
already is.

Just to be clear, I'm assuming by "PDF rendering engine" you mean
something like XEP or FOP, not a "PDF rendering engine" such as one
that would draw the display of the PDF on the screen.  (Ie the
rendering engine built into Acrobat Reader).

I'm not entirely sure how the browser side interaction would work
because I haven't really experimented with it, but it does sound
reasonable that if you did all the transformations via XSLT to a pdf
document client-side then everything should be alright because by time
it reaches whatever is associated with text/pdf it will be a pdf file.
 I have a feeling in practice this would be browser-dependent though.

On the other hand, it would be interesting to see if someone did do it.

Jon Gorman


> Karl..
> On 10/17/05, Maximilian Gdrber <max@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > you could create pdf's directly with a library such as iText,
> > http://itextsharp.sourceforge.net/
> > or use a rendering engine, a list can be found at
> > http://www.xslfo.info/software.aspx
> >
> > Regards,
> > Max
> >
> > Karl Stubsjoen wrote:
> >
> > >Hello,
> > >
> > >I need help getting started with PDF generation using XSL.  My intent
> > >is to create PDF document reporting from my website.  What do I need
> > >to get started?  Here is my development platform:  .NET, XSLT 1.0
> > >
> > >Can PDF's be created with pure XSL transformation, or do you need a
> > >print-engine of some sort?
> > >
> > >Karl..

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