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Subject: RE: [docbook-apps] FO processors

We've used XEP for the past eight years or so and have been very happy
with it. We also translate our docs into Japanese. While I'm not
qualified to evaluate the Japanese output, I can say that our
localization vendors have been satisfied with the results. It wouldn't
surprise me if Antenna House's formatter is better at Asian languages
since, as Tom mentioned, it's produced by a Japanese company (for
example, I understand that knowing where to break a line in Japanese is
tricky to do programmatically; perhaps Antenna house does better in that
respect), but certainly XEP can produce acceptable results. 

There's a white paper that Eliot Kimber wrote about fo renderers that's
fairly old by now, but perhaps would give you some ideas of what to
consider when comparing them, especially with respect to
_wp (you have to create a free account to download the pdf).


-----Original Message-----
From: tom_schr@web.de [mailto:tom_schr@web.de] 
Sent: Saturday, June 06, 2009 3:38 AM
To: docbook-apps@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] FO processors

Hi Tobias,

On Samstag, 6. Juni 2009, Tobias Anstett [k15t.com] wrote:
> We are currently using Apache FOP and like to switch to a processor
> that is more powerful (e.g. auto-column size table handling).
> Currently I am investigating:
> - XSL Formatter (Antenna House)
> - XEP (RenderX)
> Do you know more processors worth a look? And of course (I know Bob
> uses XEP too) have anybody of you experience with one of the above?

Well, my company uses XEP and we like it very much. It does all the
of the FO specification pretty well and is reasonably fast (although 
written in Java).

In the past we've tried Antenna House XSL Formatter (AXF) too. Although
offers a native Linux port, is faster than XEP, offers more options, but

it was a bit too expensive for us. Unfortunatly, from my observations, 
AXF was also not as easy to configure than XEP. Maybe that has changed 
now, but it was not as intuitive than XEP.

If you have to render asian languages, AXF seems to make a better job
XEP. Well, AXF is written by a Japanese company that explains it. AXF 
supports SVG and MathML whereas XEP supports only the former. 
Unfortunatly, for AXF, you have to pay extra for the SVG and MathML 
modules, whereas XEP supports SVG out of the box.

Of course there are other (commercial) formatters than the two above. I 
never tried it as most of them run on Windows only. For an overview,
more information at the DocBook Wiki, section "FO engines"[1].

Hope that helps, :-)

[1] http://wiki.docbook.org/topic/DocBookPublishingTools

Thomas Schraitle

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