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Publishing a Revolutionary Medical Textbook with Apache FOP and XSL-FO
Ben Galbraith, Ajaxian

Track: XML
Date: Thursday, July 29
Time: 10:45am - 11:30am
Location: Salon B


XSL-FO is a relatively new XML grammar for defining the formatting and content of paged media. It can be used to create page layouts in a similar fashion to the popular TeX language. Apache FOP is an open-source tool for converting XSL-FO XML files into high-quality PDF files.

This session will present a case study of the use of these two technologies to publish beautiful 250-page medical textbooks for radiologists. Many lessons were learned as the project in question progressed from design to fruition, but the results have been extraordinary.

The issues discussed will include an overview of XSL-FO and the FOP API, techniques for working around the layout limitations of both XSL-FO and FOP, using CMYK and spot colors through PDF manipulation, and boosting output speed through distributed computing and JXTA.

Samples of the final output will be demonstrated in the form of PDFs and book samples generated from the FOP-produced PDF files.

Adds Galbraith: "Demonstrating how to generate PDFs using open industry standards is certainly a key part of the presentation. However, I take the topic in some unique directions by both presenting a way to utilize peer-to-peer technologies to speed up the rendering process, a unique strategy for embedding CMYK and spot colors in the resulting PDFs, and a technique of compositing PDFs to overcome various limitations. Attendees will certainly learn how to generate PDFs using Java. Beyond this fundamental skill, attendees will also see how to perform these advance topics."

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