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Thread: XML to HTML/PDF On-the-Fly

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003

    XML to HTML/PDF On-the-Fly

    I'm a complete newbie to XML, so please bear with me. I've created a basic XML doc, and two stylesheets to convert the data.

    The first XSL stylesheet converts the XML data to HTML format

    The second XSL-FO stylesheet converts the XML data to PDF using the Apache FOP processor.

    This setup works pretty well (except for some font issues), but I'm wanting to have this processor create those documents on-the-fly. This setup would allow for me to only store a base XML doc that contains links to different XSL stylesheets that would convert the data. From an article from the Center for Technology in Government titled "XML: A New Web Architecture", this is how it says that I can accomplish this (with the help of Apache's Cocoon):
    <?xml version="1.0"?>
    <!--Specify the media type and the corresponding stylesheet
    <?xml-stylesheet href="page_ss.xsl" type="text/xsl" media="netscape"?>
    <?xml-stylesheet href="page_ss_ie.xsl" type="text/xsl" media="explorer"?>
    <?xml-stylesheet href="page_ss.xsl" type="text/xsl" media="mozilla5"?>
    <?xml-stylesheet href="page_ss_lynx.xsl" type="text/xsl" media="lynx"?>
    <?xml-stylesheet href="page_ss.xsl" type="text/xsl"?>
    The article states that they use Apache's Cocoon to do this, but I've already started working with XMLSpy 5.0 and Apache's FOP Processor. I've tried to install Cocoon to check it out, but have found their whole process hard to understand. So my questions are:
    1) Can I accomplish an on-the-fly processor with XMLSpy 5.0 and Apache's FOP processor, or can I only use Apache's Cocoon to do this?
    2) If this can be accomplished with XMLSpy and FOP, what steps do I need to follow?
    3) If this can only be accomplished with Cocoon, could you point me in the right direction for some good Cocoon documentation?

    Thanks for any & all help.
    It's the end of the world as we know it...and I feel fine

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Calgary, Canada
    FOP should be independant enough to do what you want, you can use Java to make it more dynamic, such as get input files and out put pdf file. If you visit w3c/XSL site you should be able to find what you want.
    As far as XMLSpy is concern its just a tool to write and read xml/xsl files in(I know that you can set it so that it can use dos base commands )


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Thanks for the quick response. Since I've already downloaded Apache's FOP, I think I have the processor part down. I've already created an XML page with an XSL-FO stylesheet, and tranformed it manually to a PDF doc through XMLSpy's XSL Transformation-FO tool. But I just want this process to be automatic instead of manual when a user selects "PDF" as their download option.

    I quickly reviewed the "output" part of W3.org's XSLT documentation, it is clearing some things up. I believe that my next step is going to be to put a couple hours aside, and go through all of the documentation on that page so that I have a better & more complete understanding of the entire process. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
    It's the end of the world as we know it...and I feel fine

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