[rfc-i] draft-iab-rfc-use-of-pdf-01, "C.3 PDF Generation Libraries"

Julian Reschke julian.reschke at gmx.de
Wed Mar 2 03:22:35 PST 2016


Appendix C.3:

"One promising direction is suggested in 
<http://greenbytes.de/tech/webdav/rfc2629xslt/rfc2629xslt.html#output.pdf.fop>: 
using XSLT to generate XSL-FO which is then processed by a formatting 
object processor such as Apache FOP."

It's not that promising, because:

a) Generating XSL-FO from the XML source in addition to HTML duplicates 
a lot of code, causing lots of additional maintenance. I think it would 
be more promising to generate PDF from (X)HTML instead.

b) XSL-FO itself is powerful, but Apache FOP lacks certain features 
which makes generating visually pleasing contents hard; notably the 
absence of table column balancing code. Other XSL-FO processors might be 
more powerful, but AFAIK none of this is open source.

Also, this should mention wkhtml, which is Webkit's HTML engine packaged 
as command line tool for printing/PDF generation.

Best regards, Julian


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