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XSL:FO Visual Editor Advice.

Posted on 2009-03-30
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Last Modified: 2013-11-18
I am a developer/programmer who is currently looking for advice on the various Visual Editors in regards to XSL:FO.  To give you a little bit of information about myself I have been programming with XSL in general for about a year now.  I work use Stylus Studio for any form of XML development and I have a license for the AntennaHouse XSL Formatter.  

Personally I do not use nor am I interested in using any form of a Visual WYSIWYG editor in regards to converting my XML data to a PDF format.  However given the nature of my work I would like to find a product that allows novice users (particularly those who are not programmers) to be able to take XML data and create a PDF by generating the appropriate XSL code which can then be transformed into a PDF.  XSL is important due to the fact that it supports pagination and also the fact that I as a programmer understand it and can therefore theoretically manipulate it in case of emergency's.

With the above stated I am looking for advice on a few particular pieces of software that are currently on the market.  I would like general advice from anyone who has used them and also any Pro's and Con's that I should be aware of.  Again, it will be novice users who do not already know how program so the main concern is to what extent the Visual Editor can be utilized (flexibility, ease of use, features, efficiency, ect).

The products in consideration are:
 - Altova StyleVision
 - AntennaHouse XSL Report Designer
 - InventiveDesigners Scriptura
 - XSLFast

My main focus is on the first two but the last two are still worth mentioning.

Anyways, help is appreciated.
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Question by:AccuLink
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Geert Bormans earned 500 total points
ID: 24021070
I don't have too much experience with this, but
I have found that the Altova Stylevision creates obscure XSL:FO, so you can basically forget that you can "therefore theoretically manipulate it in case of emergency's" It also is not very flexible.
Compared to the other two on your list, you are comparing a Lada with Rolls Royces (except that the price difference is not comparable)
Altova has a tendency to market toys extremely well, toys that don't deliver up to expectations and support is very poor.

I have used InventiveDesigners Scriptura a little bit and was amazingly happy with the quality of the product. The underlying XSL:FO processor is very fast and delivers good quality

Antenna House Report Designer is more recent than the other two and I don't have a lot of experience with it.
Note that Antenna House offers quiet a list of interesting extensions to the XSL:FO recommendation.
I assume that that could be a motivation for going Antenna House whole the way
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