W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-xsl-fo@w3.org > March 2007

Re: Is this stuff ready for prime time?

From: Lester Ward <lward@rentec.com>
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2007 11:46:30 -0500
Message-ID: <45EC4966.5000702@rentec.com>
To: www-xsl-fo@w3.org

Howard, Chris wrote:
> I'm considering the idea investing some effort into making
> this all work with XSLT/XSL-FO.  I would convert the flat file into
> XML, then use XSLT to do my logic and XSL-FO to do the printing... I
> think.

This would be the standard way to do it, and it's what all the books and web sites will 
tell you to do.

Be advised however: when you use XSLT to transform your XML data into a format that can be 
processed by XSL-FO, that format is _also_ just an XML file. There is nothing stopping you 
from just changing your flat data directly into files for XSL-FO directly, skipping XML 
conversion and XSLT altogether.

Advantages of this approach:

o Don't need to learn XSLT, which can be tricky.
o Faster execution time, which sounds like it may matter to you.

Disadvantages of this approach:

o Inflexible. The standard XML->XSLT->XSL-FO approach can basically do anything by 
changing the rules in the XSLT. Skipping that step, you are essentially "hard-coding" your 
output to to be exactly one thing. In most cases, this is not something you do on purpose.

To me, making the choice would largely center around what your "official" format will be 
going forward. Are you going to convert the flat data to XML once and then use XML ever 
after? Will you use the XML for anything else or are you converting to XML only as a way 
to do this printing?
Received on Monday, 5 March 2007 16:46:50 UTC

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