[xep-support] What is an XEP for?

Alexander Peshkov peshkov at renderx.com
Fri Jun 7 06:03:46 PDT 2002


XEP is XSL FO formatting engine, it's capable of producing PDF and PS
output from XSL FO input. It could be extended to produce other
appropriate formats. XEP could be used both as stand-alone application
(via command line) or as system component (via APIs available in
commercial version). Now XEP also available as plug-in for XML Spy
(www.xmlspy.com), which is one of best XML/XSLT editors on the market.
You could download XEP for XML Spy at our website
http://www.renderx.com/xmlspy.html (don't forget to register first).
This combination (XML Spy + XEP) allows you work easily with XML, XSLT
and XSL FO in the same environment.

Some general information about XSL FO:
XSL FO is a machine-generated format. That means that:
1. One has the source data in XML (or in a database later retrieved and converted into XML).
2. One writes (or uses an available one for a wide-spread XML
   vocabulary) an XSLT (XSL Transformations) transformation to generate
   XSL FO (XSL Formatting Objects) file from the source XML.
3. That XSL FO file is then passed to the formatting kernel and transformed into PDF.

Full way of document processing is:

XML+XSL(with parameters)->[XSLT processor]->XSL FO->[XEP kernel]->PDF 

The commercial distribution of XEP includes several wrappers which
integrate XEP (an XSL FO processor) with various XSLT processors. 

Steps 2 and 3 are usually joined together; XSL FO does not exist on
disk as a file, but is rather a processing step in the pipeline. 
In your case one XSLT stylesheet could be used to generate HTML from
XML data and another stylesheet to produce XSL FO which later will be
formatted with XEP.

Take a look at /doc/docbook directory of the XEP distribution. There
you will find examples of such transformation. We create XEP documents
in Docbook format (the kind of XML) and then transform them with XSLT to
HTML or XSL FO (and then produce PDF using XEP).

Best regards,
Alexander Peshkov                             mailto:peshkov at renderx.com

ZH> Please tell me what can we do with XEP? And that how we can employ XSL FO
ZH> (considered as an alternative to CSS) within XML document while at the same
ZH> time we are required to use XSLT for transforming the XML doc to HTML for
ZH> website development. That is how can we make use of combination of these
ZH> three(XML, XSLT,XSL FO)? Is there any editor/tool which support all these in an
ZH> easy to write way?

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