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From Abel Braaksma <abel.onl...@xs4all.nl>
Subject Re: Would an extension to print Gantt charts work?
Date Fri, 02 Nov 2007 09:00:29 GMT
Jeremias Maerki wrote:
> 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.

Just out of interest, but a Gantt chart isn't much more than a couple of 
bars, text, lines etc, isn't it? If you manage to fit it on one page (I 
know, Gantt charts tend to be very wide though), but surely all you need 
is some basic SVG stuff and you don't need to write a complex extension. 
And you can easily wrap it up with some general XSLT stylesheet that 
creates the SVG XML for you based on your Gantt XML data.

However, *if* you write an extension, consider looking up a standard XML 
format for Gantt (if such exists), instead of taking your own format. 
Using a standardized format, however awkward, tends to make it more 
usable for others (that is, if you intend to make your extension 
available to the public).

Googling brought me http://www.ilog.com/products/jviews/gantt/index.cfm, 
which seems to use SDXL, which is "Schedule Data eXchange Language" used 
to build Gantt charts. But from the look of it, I don't believe it is 
open source. But maybe they allow their format to be public which would 
give you a nice start. Then, if you write an extension for FOP, you can 
also use their renderer, they seem to support enough formats, which will 
save you a lot of time (but again, it is not free).

-- Abel Braaksma

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