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Re: About xsl-fo features when printing same layout to

Subject: Re: About xsl-fo features when printing same layout to different page sizes
From: Wendell Piez <wapiez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 13 May 2008 10:16:10 -0400
Re:  About xsl-fo features when printing same layout to

This all sounds very "constraint driven". XSL-FO
1.0 (or 1.1) is not really designed to solve
problems such as "flow this content into a box of
x/y dimensions, scaling the font automatically to
make it fit". Even if it were, your results would
vary, as this kind of operation is just difficult
or impossible to automate and get anything like
good results (which is why there is a market for
interactive layout applications). Some of the
stronger XSL-FO practitioners I know (two or
three read this list and might well weigh in)
might sketch out a scenario in which something
might be conceivable, but it wouldn't be pretty,
would probably involve some sort of pipelining
(run a process, run another process taking the
results of the first process as input, etc.)
and/or a customized (extended) XSL-FO formatting
engine, and would undoubtedly not be a project
for a beginner or even an expert without plenty of time on her hands.

Or, a more positive way of saying it: were you to
successfully implement a system doing all of what
you describe, it would be state of the art and a
shoo-in demonstration at any industry conference.

On the other hand, three different XSL-FO
stylesheets, or even one stylesheet with
judicious use of run-time parameters, could
certainly format the same document three
different ways, even somewhat similarly on three
different page sizes. It's just that the three
different layouts would not have any relation to
one another, and you wouldn't be able to specify
(for example) "fit this layout into 16 pages" or
"fit this text into this particular box".

I hope that helps,

At 03:39 AM 5/13/2008, you wrote:
Hi everybody,

I'm looking for some answers about what xsl-fo can do and I hope some of
you could help me. I'm new in this list and in xsl-fo, I've searched and
read other posts, but I haven't found the answers. So, thank you very
much for your time.

I want to show the 'same content' but formatted for different page
sizes. So, let's say I have size1, size2 and size3. And let's say I have
an xsl1 which is for size1. The layout of the page is similar to a
newspaper, it means, several text and images blocks, sometimes
multicolumn, hyphenation and intelligent paragraph layout.

As I know the size of the blocks/areas, if I want to show this on the
size2 page, it's easy to resize the areas.

But, of course, the text inside the areas will have to change (more or
less text, different hyphen positions, bigger column size...) in order
to fit the new size and be readable. I think I'll probably have to
change the font size of the text in order to maintain the proportion
(I'm not sure about this).

So, my questions here are:

1. Is this something xsl-fo can handle? Is xsl-fo suited for this? Is
the best way?
2. Can I just work whit an xsl1 for size1, resize the areas for size2
and that's all or is it a more complex process and it will involve to
create new xsl (new design) for every size I have?
3. If size3 is much smaller than size1, the only option is to remove
some areas from the page. Is there a way to do this with the xsl1 and,
let's say, applying priorities to the different blocks, so if the page
size is small, it removes less priority areas and 'reorder/expand' the
other ones (maybe I'm asking too much)?
4. What happens with images?

I know these are a lot of questions an I'd really appreciat your
Again, thank you very much for your help.



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Wendell Piez                            mailto:wapiez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Mulberry Technologies, Inc.                http://www.mulberrytech.com
17 West Jefferson Street                    Direct Phone: 301/315-9635
Suite 207                                          Phone: 301/315-9631
Rockville, MD  20850                                 Fax: 301/315-8285
  Mulberry Technologies: A Consultancy Specializing in SGML and XML

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