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Re: Converting XML into ODT document to print as paper

Subject: Re: Converting XML into ODT document to print as paper
From: "Wendell Piez wapiez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <xsl-list-service@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 2020 13:20:44 -0000
Re:  Converting XML into ODT document to print as paper

To add - for quick and dirty / POC, I concur ODT is probably as good a
target as any and better than most, and as Willem points out, there is a
single-file variant (not zipped) that makes it easier to produce.

I would perhaps start by saving one of these out, and using that as a frame
for a structural mapping.

However, the design intent is somewhat vague (though I think I know what
you mean!) and indeed YMMV when it comes to maintaining "page fidelity" (or
"fixed layout ready to print") depending on what that actually means in the

Where's Eliot? He has vast experience, plus instrumentation that could
(also) be used to do this. For Java programmers there is Apache POI to
think about. I had not seen FlyingSaucer (thank you Christophe). And there
are other routes from HTML+CSS to print/pages, although again at different
levels of maturity and capability.

One question is whether there would need to be hand intervention in the
ODT, HTML+CSS, or other intermediate format, or whether it must be
truly "lights out". That can make a difference.

Cheers, Wendell

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 8:03 AM Christophe Marchand cmarchand@xxxxxxxxxx <
xsl-list-service@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> HTML + CSS print is usually a good-enough solution. You may have a look to
> https://github.com/flyingsaucerproject/flyingsaucer or to one of its fork.
> I actually work on a maven-plugin that transform markdown to our
> exercise-book odt format, with quite a good result. But it's a very
> specific layout, and for now, is not open-source.
> Flyingsaucer is probably your solution, as it is already ready-to-use.
> Christophe
> Le 24/09/2020 C  10:24, Jean-Paul Rehr rehrjb@xxxxxxxxx a C)crit :
> >ready-made solution?
> Ready-made solutions usually are domain/standard specific (like TEI-XML
> for book editions, etc). But even those usually require certain code-level
> interventions to work.
> Your data + layout are quite simple and are a good candidate for XSL-FO
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XSL_Formatting_Objects>:  purpose-made to
> handle XML -> PDF outputs.
> Alternately, transform your source XML data into Open Office-compliant
> XML...
> On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 9:57 AM Manuel Souto Pico terminolator@xxxxxxxxx <
> xsl-list-service@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> I would need to convert XML to something that has a fixed page layout
>> ready to print, like ODT/OOXML or PDF.
>> I know OOXML is complex, but since the final document needs to be printed
>> and keep the same layout, probably HTML output is not good for this (I
>> guess!).
>> What I need at the moment is just a quick and dirty proof of concept to
>> show that this conversion is feasible and not too difficult, to show it to
>> decision makers (I'm not a XSLT developer myself).
>> This is my input (sample):
>> https://pastebin.com/sU77P7Bv
>> And this would be my output:
>> My first thought was to unzip the ODT model I have, look at the
>> content.xml inside and then try to transform my XML into that same
>> structure (as suggested here:
>> However, probably that's the hard way...
>> I'm doing some research, any tips or pointers or advice or recommendation
>> or examples here would be highly appreciated. Is there any best practice
>> do this? or a ready-made solution?
>> Thanks in advance.
>> Cheers, Manuel
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...Wendell Piez... ...wendell -at- nist -dot- gov...
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