PassiveTeX XSL FO Implementation Version 1.1
[October 04, 2000] PassiveTeX XSL FO Implementation Version 1.1. Sebastian Rahtz (Oxford University Computing Services) has announced a new release of his PassiveTeX XSL FO processor. PassiveTeX is "a library of TeX macros which can be used to process an XML document which results from an XSL transformation to formatting objects. It provides a rapid development environment for experimenting with XSL FO, using a reliable pre-existing formatter. Running PassiveTeX with the pdfTeX variant of TeX generates high-quality PDF files in a single operation. PassiveTeX shows how TeX can remain the formatter of choice for XML, while hiding the details of its operation from the user." Sebastian writes of version 1.1: "There are a variety of bug fixes (nothing too dramatic), and some new implementations of FO elements and characteristics. One important addition is that fo:marker and fo:retrieve-marker now work, more or less, allowing dynamic headers and footers. I have tested this by formatting the XSL FO spec itself, with satisfactory results. As ever, PassiveTeX is for you if: (1) you have an existing TeX system which you understand; (2) you need decent hyphenation, justification and page-breaking now; (3) you want MathML support; (4) you want high-quality PDF [compressed, bookmarks, links etc.]; and (5) you are into big files and long batch processing. PassiveTeX isn't for you if: (1) you want a Java solution which you can embed; (2) you have never seen TeX and dont want to; (3) you want SVG support; and (4) your life revolves around complex tables. See http://users.ox.ac.uk/~rahtz/passivetex/coursebook.pdf [which] is a typical example of what I use this system for. I expect, by the way, to share TeX details with the Unicorn XSL FO processor in the future; and possibly move to a comparable method myself." For related resources, see "XSL/XSLT Software Support."
Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive.