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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Moving FO generation to an internal plugin
Date Fri, 30 Jun 2006 12:12:12 GMT
Currently our PDF generation is split between skins and the PDF output 
plugin. The reason for this is because the PDF plugin uses the FO 
generated by the skin. But why? The skin is really about HTML generation 
not FO.

I propose moving the FO generation out of skins and into an internal 
plugin. This will have the benefit that we can work on the FO generation 
independently of skins and therefore move it to a design more suitable 
for reuse within the Dispatcher.

An alternative would be to move the FO generation into the PDF plugin, 
but this doe not make sense since FO can be used to generate other print 
based formats as well (RTF for example). I feel FO should be an 
alternative internal format to XDocs for generation of print based 
formats at the output stage.

Since I have an semi-immediate need to extend FO generation so that 
multiple page definitions are possible. It makes more sense to me to do 
this extension within a whiteboard plugin rather than in the skins.

The downside of this is that it will create a dependency between the PDF 
and FO plugins. Such dependencies are something that we have been trying 
to avoid. However, we are finding an increasing number of use cases 
where such dependencies are required, and I recently outlined an 
approach for automatically handling such dependencies.

It is also worth noting that I do not intend to remove the FO processing 
in core until after the 0.8 release, so this work should not hinder or 
slow progress to 0.8. We can remove the FO processing from skins when we 
move skins to an output plugin as proposed by Thorsten recently.

Lazy consensus is in operation, pleas speak up if you have a concern.


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