using xsl/fo - alternatives to Apache FO

Discussion in 'XML' started by DarthLuch, Nov 28, 2006.

  1. DarthLuch

    DarthLuch Guest

    Would like to get feedback on a process we do, as well as suggested

    We produce a software for the airline biz... One of the features is
    take take aircraft OEM provided SGML/XML data, mix it with data from
    our own application, and show a PDF print of it. We save our own data
    as xml, merge it with the OEM xml data, and use a stylesheet to control
    how we want it to look. We use Apache FOP to turn it into a PDF.

    Functionally, it works great... It does everything we want, and we've
    gotten used to the XSL coding. The problem is, the speed.... Many
    times, many of these need to be printed in succession. Or, even when
    just printing one at a time... The Apache FOP processer just takes long
    to convert it to PDF.

    My first question is... can someone suggest any alternative processors
    for this purpose? I know I can search for them, but I'd like a specific
    recommendation for this specified need. My preference would be one in C
    or C++, only because I *think* that would make it perform faster.

    I'd also welcome any feedback, in general, to what/how we do this
    DarthLuch, Nov 28, 2006
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  2. Stylus Studio, Nov 28, 2006
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  3. You might want to consider another rendering path. For example, some
    folks have used XMLified versions of TeX/LaTeX markup (the earliest of
    those was TeXML, but I think I've seen mention of several others), which
    would then be processed into TeX or LaTeX and run through the
    appropriate engines to get a PDF from that. I'm not sure whether that
    would actually be any faster, but it might be worth trying for comparison.
    Joseph Kesselman, Nov 28, 2006
  4. DarthLuch

    DarthLuch Guest

    I don't suppose that you can tell me, from experience, that RenderX
    performs faster that Apache FOP? I looked at it and saw it was also
    developed in Java. But, I suppose I will try it...
    DarthLuch, Nov 28, 2006
  5. DarthLuch

    DarthLuch Guest

    Interesting... I wish I had known of this one before doing XSL-FO
    stylesheets. It seems that this rendering method is more suited to our
    specified need that Apache-FO. Unfortunately it seems it will require a
    "re-write" of how we do the stylesheet.
    faster than Apache FO, which is done in Java?
    I will try this, thanks
    DarthLuch, Nov 28, 2006
  6. I'm not recommending the TeXML-like approach as necessarily being better
    than going through FOP -- I haven't compared the two since about three
    years ago! -- just pointing out that if you really can't find a fast
    enough XSL-FO processor this might be another path to investigate.

    Theoretically, FOP *ought* to be able to achieve reasonable speed. Java
    is *not* always inherently slower than other languages; it depends on
    what JVM you're using, whether you're paying JIT overhead every time
    (rather than keeping a copy of the classes loaded), and whether the code
    happens to hit one of Java's bottlenecks injudiciously. I haven't looked
    at FOP in anywhere near enough detail to have any opinion re whether
    it's performing as well as it possibly could.

    (But debate about Java should probably be taken to a Java or
    programming-language newsgroup, since it's something of a religious war.)
    Joseph Kesselman, Nov 28, 2006
  7. Hello,

    """Joseph Kesselman ÐÉÓÁÌ(Á):
    If you find time to compare, here are some links:

    TeXML was recently updated:

    Consodoc, a framework on top of TeXML is released:
    Meanwhile, it's possible that the problem isn't the speed of the XSL-FO
    processor, but the speed of the XSLT processor (or, most likely, the
    stylesheet). Therefore, changing the FO processor doesn't help.
    Oleg Paraschenko, Nov 30, 2006
  8. Change "therefore" to "if so"... I'm assuming the original poster had
    already checked that before asking specifically about the XSL-FO layer.

    If XSLT is the bottleneck in your process, you may want to try
    compiled-stylesheet solutions such as the XSLTC mode of Apache Xalan.

    (This doesn't sound like the kind of problem where my first
    recommendation would be a hardware assist such as the Datapower boxes,
    but that depends in part on just how many of these you're churning through.)
    Joe Kesselman, Nov 30, 2006
  9. DarthLuch

    Peter Flynn Guest

    I use XSLT to generate LaTeX code from XML text, and then run pdfLaTeX
    to produce PDF. I find this is faster, easier to program, and produces
    better quality typography than any of the XSL:FO methods.

    Peter Flynn, Dec 2, 2006
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