FOP (from xml.apache.org) is the oldest FO proceessor on the block, and
if not the most complete in its adherence to the specification, is
The latest binary release-- 0.20.5rc-- has some nice features including
embedding non-FO XML (e.g. SVG for graphics, charts and tables), and is
a little smaller and faster than its predecessor.
I would agree with Michael Fox that perhaps the hardest part of
understanding FO is the page layout specifications; after that it's all
pretty much downhill: <fo:block> is kinda like an HTML <p>, <fo:inline>
an HTML <span>, <fo:table> behaves as one might expect, and so forth.
As Michael also mentioned, it's really a mapping question, you must
know you output target.
Basically you will need a pretty good grasp of EAD, FO and XSLT (to
effect the transformation). I would argue that once in FO land, though,
a whole new horizon opens up-- PDFs are the best supported output
format, but Postscript, SVG, even RTF (for import back into a word
processor) are a but a few steps away.
FOP, out of the box, is a command line application, but this is
easily "wrapped", say, from a NoteTab macro.
Yale University Library::Manuscripts and Archives
Quoting Michael Rush <[log in to unmask]>:
> Hello all,
> Are any of you using XSLFO to create print versions of your finding
> I'm just beginning to experiment with FO, and am looking for
> Although it seems a bit more technical than our old friend XSLT, I
> think I
> can sort out the issues of creating .fo files from my .xml EAD
> However, what I thought would be the easy part is proving to be a
> mystifying. What rendering engines are people using to create
> files from their .fo files? What formats are you creating? Are
> performing the transformations from the command line or have you
> the task?
> I'm looking for a simple solution for the time being, just so I can
> creating .fo files and render them so I can see the results. I've
> tried to
> experiment with JFOR and FOP, but have been stymied for various
> Any and all advice and guidance is appreciated.
> Michael Rush - Manuscript Processor
> Massachusetts Historical Society
> [log in to unmask] - http://www.masshist.org
> (617)646-0553 - (617)859-0074 (fax)
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