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From COFFMAN Steven <SCoff...@CBSINC.com>
Subject RE: XSL Formatting Objects Chapter Updated
Date Tue, 10 Oct 2000 20:10:06 GMT
	I'm away from my computer this week, could someone from FOP-dev
verify the second comment here for accuracy? This past weekend I read the
XSL chapter on a long car trip. It was actually a good read, and exposed a
few holes in my understanding of the spec. I tried to approach it from the
mindset of your target audience so here's my comments.
-General: Throughout you say things like "this property can be set to
reference-area or page" without distinguishing the property value from the
rest of the sentence. It may just be the HTML version, but in the printed
book you probably want to make them bold, quoted, italics, or something to
increase readability.

-FOP: You mention that external-graphics must use an absolute URL. As the
proper FO for images has changed, FOP has changed too. However, I don't
believe it's ever been true needed an absolute URL to embed an image, as far
as I know. Check the example file images.fo. (Maybe this was something we
fixed in CVS after 0.14, but I don't think so).

-Inconsistancy?: "Formating Object and Their Properties" section vs.
"Contents" section
   You mention in the "FO & their props." (paragraph 7) that there are four
types of FO areas: regions, block areas, line areas, and inline areas. Yet
in "Contents" section you divide things into block, inline, table, and
out-of-line. The subtle difference between area and content elements
probably makes this different grouping confusing to newbies if it's not
mentioned explicitly.

- It might be good to distinguish between those objects which can be broken
across multiple pages, those that can't, and those you can specify.

-Similarly, some block areas scale vertically when the "stuff" inside it too
big, but do any scale horizontally? I actually don't know this. Both would
be good to mention.

-In "Leaders and Rules" I always thought that "leader-length" was pretty
tricky. In a rule, you naturally want it to be 100% of the width of the
page/block. In a table of contents leader, you naturally want it to end such
that everythign ends up lined up. Maybe some additional words about the
limitations and uses of leaders/rules might be in order.

-I've got some long scrawl about force-page-count: auto vs. no-force.
Apparently I thought elaboration was called for, but the road must have
gotten bumpy, because I can't read the suggested wording at all. Sorry.

Overall a very good FO introduction. Much more enjoyable than the spec. The
inconsistancies and vagaries of the spec you mention, have you sent that to
the xsl-editors? They really want comments such as this.
-----Original Message-----
From: Elliotte Rusty Harold [mailto:elharo@metalab.unc.edu]
Sent: Saturday, September 30, 2000 10:58 AM
To: fop-dev@xml.apache.org
Cc: xsl-list@mulberrytech.com
Subject: XSL Formatting Objects Chapter Updated

I'm happy to announce that I've posted a completely updated version 
of Chapter 15 of the XML Bible, XSL Formatting Objects, at Cafe con 


This is the complete chapter, approximately 70 pages with many full examples
of XSL-FO. Everything should be up-to-date with the March 27, 2000 
Last Call working draft of the XSL-FO specification and FOP 0.14.0. 
To the best of my knowledge, this is the only comprehensive tutorial 
covering the current version of XSL-FO.

Doubtless there are some errors since I was breaking new ground here 
and had to work from an incomplete and sometimes contradictory spec 
document, as well as using unfinished pre-alpha software. Since this 
is more-or-less what's going to go into the second edition of the XML 
Bible, as well as likely being the primary source for many new users 
learning XSL-FO, I'd very much appreciate it if you can inform me of 
any mistakes you spot so I can fix them.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
|                  The XML Bible (IDG Books, 1999)                   |
|              http://metalab.unc.edu/xml/books/bible/               |
|   http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0764532367/cafeaulaitA/   |
|  Read Cafe au Lait for Java News:  http://metalab.unc.edu/javafaq/ |
|  Read Cafe con Leche for XML News: http://metalab.unc.edu/xml/     |

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