[thelist] XSL transformations and pagination

Brad Miller beldamar at beldamar.com
Tue Jun 25 22:51:01 CDT 2002

Good evening everyone,
I am having some issues with pagination.

I am trying to give the user a pdf preview of a file. I have a guy who wrote
a script in Perl to transform everything to Tex and then to pdf.
This works pretty good but it doesn't handle the pagination the way I need
it to. (we were going to use XSL-FO and FOP but FOP just isn't there yet)

This situation runs rather deep so please bear with me.
I am generating training materials that have step by step processes that are
extracted from a single source. These step by step processes are in a 2"
column on the left side. Some of them may have 20 steps other have only 2 or
3. So I can't tell how many steps will fit on one page until I do a preview
in pdf. Then I have to go back and modify my XML doc to include the
appropriate amount of screen shots for each page.

The whole reason this is a big deal is I have trainers that need to go back
and edit the content. I have everything setup in XMetaL for them so that
they can edit the XML in a word processor like interface. Everything is
setup in tables in XMetaL so that they can get a clear understanding of how
it is going to look in the end. This also allows them to add screen shots
for each page that the steps will paginate to.

Ok so the problem is that the people editing the content can't tell how many
pages the steps will span until they do a preview. At which point they need
to go back and add screen shots. The number of screen shots depends on the
number of pages the steps span and which steps get moved to the next page.
Each screen shot will be different depending on what steps are on that page.

This is rather complex and I can't depend on the trainers to do this

So my question is: Can I do this with an XSL style sheet to convert the XML
to HTML and control the pagination that way? Then run another XSL style
sheet to reformat the XML to put each section in separate tables so that it
is clear in XMetaL that they have so many steps and need another screen shot
or two.

I'm not sure if I explained this correctly but if anyone has any ideas on
how to do this or if I am way off base here I would appreciate the help.

Brad Miller
brad at beldamar.com

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