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From Jeremias Maerki <...@jeremias-maerki.ch>
Subject Re: Would an extension to print Gantt charts work?
Date Fri, 02 Nov 2007 07:37:45 GMT
On 02.11.2007 00:24:32 Fred Janon wrote:
> Thanks Jeremias, thanks Warren! It helps a lot.
> 
> Your two following points made it clearer for me:
> 
> "the answer here is to write your
> Gantt generator to create XSL-FO, which you may then translate into
> something else with FOP"
> 
> "the XSL-FO spec allows foreign XML formats
> and images to be combined with XSL-FO documents"
> 
> I had looked at the Barcode extension code but could not figure out how it
> was involved in the process. A couple of sequence diagrams would have
> helped!

Sure. You can always help us draw these. ;-)

> I will have another look at the Plan extension, it is probably a
> good starting point for understanding extensions more. Thanks also for the
> Java2D/AWT explanation, somehow I was thinking that it would generate some
> AWT components but I guess just generates the content of an AWT component.
> 
> I have a database with task objects with their name, start/end dates,
> completion, etc. I want to compose (to print it via pdf, PCL) a large
> document (10+ pages) containing a Gantt chart composed of a table with rows
> of text and numbers, bars (graphics), columns with dates, a legend and some
> notes, in a very similar way as Microsoft Project. FOP would help me
> formatting the document (margin, centering...) and with the pagination after
> I compose an XML document that describes the content of the document but not
> the pagination?

Generally, yes, but see below.

> FOP could generate the pdf document for example with 10
> pages and the page number with my content segmented on each page?

Generally, yes, but see below.

> Would I
> have to create an extension to draw the graphics for the task bars?

Generally, yes, but (*g*) considering Gantt charts, they could span
multiple pages, couldn't they? That's where the problem starts.
fo:instream-foreign-object which is designed to contain foreign XML
content only generates one viewport/reference pair. So, there's no way
to split one single Gantt chart between pages. In order to implemet such
a functionality, you'd have to write your own block-level LayoutManager,
so FOP is able to break the chart as necessary. That could complicate
things. Of course, if you can make sure these chart are always single
images, the approach is like for the Plan or Barcode4J extension.

> Sorry about all these basic questions, but I have the feeling that FOP can
> save us a lot of time in our project but it's always difficult to figure out
> the use and limits of a technology without spending quite some time on it
> and I don't have much of that.
> 
> Thanks for your help again.
> 
> Fred
<snip/>

Jeremias Maerki


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