W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-xsl-fo@w3.org > October 2002

Re: xsl-fo first anniversary

From: Éric Bischoff <e.bischoff@noos.fr>
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 13:24:37 +0200
To: David Carlisle <davidc@nag.co.uk>
Cc: www-xsl-fo@w3.org
Message-Id: <200210181324.37653.e.bischoff@noos.fr>

Le Friday 18 October 2002 12:53, David Carlisle a écrit:
> > Perharps the biggest success is that people start considering xsl-fo as a
> > valid replacement solution for LaTeX in production environments :-).
> ah, now you've really upset me:-)
> Actually of course TeX does show up in one form or another in more than
> one of the FO renderers so it's not a complete replacement.


If you take it the opposite way, the ability to completly stay away from TeX 
is a huge argument for me in favour of XSL-FO. Not that TeX or LaTeX have no 
cool features, but that certain points make it a bad choice in some 

I'm thinking in particular at internationalization. TeX derivates are 
difficult to customize to different languages, and that configuration work 
has to be done almost differently for every language. As I'm deeply involved 
in internationalization issues, and as the ability to produce easily Korean  
printouts is a big concern to me, I'm better off if I can avoid it. I did not 
even try it in RTL languages like Arabic and Hebrew.

This is why I've dropped the idea to do
	SGML DocBook + DSSSL => Jadetex => PDF
quite some time ago. Instead now my preferred way is
	XML DocBook + XSLT => FO => PDF

Also, I have noticed that the learning curve is easier with XSL-FO than with 
LaTex for complete beginners (if you keep them away from the reference 
documents and point them to a good crash-course, of course).

Last than not least, the configuration efforts seem to me usually less with FO 
renderers than with TeX derivates - that kind of configuration can be real 
cryptic! and sometimes it is needed only because of the ageing software 
architecture, like the static memory allocation techniques.

Of course, if you do mathematics in US English, then TeX might still appear a 
good choice to you. Until, as you say, FO becomes competitive in those areas 
as well.

(For the rest of what to say, I have nothing to add)

Linux produces remarkedly less hot air than Windows: under
Windows, the processor gets hot after just a few minutes.
Received on Friday, 18 October 2002 07:23:34 UTC

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