Re: status of FOP, Oct 2006
Thanks to Michael Hahn, E R Harold and Mike Smith for your valuable perspectives on FOP.
Mike Smith writes:
I would guess that Renderx might be willing to provide you with free classroom licenses for XEP, and your students could get free academic licenses or "personal edition" licenses for their home use. (Does it really matter for your teaching purposes or for your students that it be open source?)
Well, yes and no. We are not ruling out commercial applications, if that's your question (but they're not what I was asking about at the moment :-).
I suppose xmlroff probably doesn't meet the available-for-Windows requirement, but it seems like it'd be wortwhile to at least demo it for you students and give some background information about it so that they know it exists. (If you have any students who are developers, maybe some would take enough interest in xmlroff to consider contributing to development on it.)
We like xmlroff; indeed its author is an old friend and once-and-future associate of ours. It's on the list of implementations we discuss in the course.
If they're doing hands-on XSL-FO work exclusively with FOP, it seems like in spite of what else you may be demo'ing for them, they're going to walk away with out ever trying and seeing for themselves that they can generate production-quality output from an XSL-FO toolchain.
Yet somehow our students have never really come away with that impression. This may have to do with the nature of our classes and with who takes our courses and why: we are not a "training shop" primarily and we don't get students who are still shopping for technology. That is, most of our students already know why they want XML/XSL when they arrive, and what it is capable of.
At the very least it might be worthwhile to suggest that they download XEP on their own at home and try it.
We do. We discuss the trial version offerings of several processors.
Thanks again, Wendell
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