- Chapter 1: Essential XSLT
- A Little Background
- XML Documents
- What Does XML Look Like in a Browser?
- XSLT Transformations
- Making an XSLT Transformation Happen
- Using Standalone XSLT Processors
- Using Browsers to Transform XML Documents
- XSLT Transformations on Web Servers
- XML-to-XHTML Transformations
- XSLT Resources
- XSL Formatting Objects: XSL-FO
- XSL-FO Resources
- Formatting an XML Document
- The XSLT Stylesheet
- Transforming a Document into FormattingObject Form
- Creating a Formatted Document
Some XSL-FO resources are available to you on the Web, but far fewer than those for XSLT. Here are the main ones:
http://www.w3.org/TR/xsl. The main XSL candidate recommendation, which also includes XSL-FO.
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-xsl-fo/. A W3C list for comments on XSL-FO.
Just as there are XSLT processors out there for you to use, there are also XSL-FO processors. None comes close to implementing the wholestandard, however. Here's a starter list of XSL-FO processors:
FOP http://xml.apache.org/fop. A Java application that reads an XSL formatting object tree (which you create with an XML parser) and creates a PDF document.
PassiveTeX http://users.ox.ac.uk/~rahtz/passivetex. A TeX packagethat formats XSL-FO output to PDF. Makes use of David Carlisle'sxmltex XML parser.
SAXESS Wave http://www.saxess.com/wave/index.html. An XML-to-Shockwave/ Flash converter.
TeXML http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/texml. Converts XML documents into TeX.
Unicorn Formatting Objects (UFO) http://www.unicorn-enterprises.com. XSL Formatting Objects processor written in C++. It can generate output in PostScript, PDF, and other formats supported by TeX DVI drivers.
XEP http://www.renderx.com/FO2PDF.html. A Java XSL-FO processor that converts XSL formatting objects to PDF or PostScript.
In this book, I'll use fop (formatting objects processor), which is probably the most widely used XSL-FO processor. This Java-based XSL-FO processor takes an XML document that is written to use the XSL-FO formatting objects and translates it to PDF format, which you can examine with Adobe Acrobat. Although XSLT transformations are often made to HTML, that won't work for XSL-FO, because in that case, you specify every aspect of the presentation format down to the last detail, which means that PDF format is much more appropriate.