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Subject: impotent "space-before.*" in attribute set component.title.properties

I'm customizing the appearance of chapter titles using the attribute set below in my customization layer.

No matter to what extreme values I set the "space-before.*" attributes, they don't make any difference at all in the fo output (PDF). This as opposed to the "space-after.*" attributes, to which the output is sensitive as expected.

I'm clueless about what's going wrong: my logic, xsl or fop processing, ...

Any help in directing me where to look for something inappropriate is much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Erik Leunissen.

Processing system
docbook stylesheets version 1.78
FOP Version 1.1

<xsl:attribute-set name="component.title.properties">
  <xsl:attribute name="font-size">
    <xsl:value-of select="$body.font.master * 4.0"></xsl:value-of>

  <!-- The following lines don't have any effect at all -->
  <xsl:attribute name="space-before.minimum">12.0em</xsl:attribute>
  <xsl:attribute name="space-before.optimum">13.0em</xsl:attribute>
  <xsl:attribute name="space-before.maximum">14.0em</xsl:attribute>

  <!-- These do affect the output -->
  <xsl:attribute name="space-after.minimum">2.5em</xsl:attribute>
  <xsl:attribute name="space-after.optimum">3.0em</xsl:attribute>
  <xsl:attribute name="space-after.maximum">3.5em</xsl:attribute>

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