Thursday, February 7, 2008

Tsumeshogi diagrams with Kanji, part II

The delay

As I wrote earlier I had been planning to produce this version of "my" Tsumeshogi Collection for a long time now. The only thing that was putting me off was weird interpretation of "reference-orientation" XSL-FO attribute. The specification describes it as follows:

The reference-orientation property defines the direction for top for the content-rectangle of the reference-area.

Property Values
0Default. The orientation of this area has the same orientation as the containing reference-area
90The orientation is rotated 90 degrees from the orientation of the containing reference-area
180The orientation is rotated 180 degrees from the orientation of the containing reference-area
270The orientation is rotated 270 degrees from the orientation of the containing reference-area
-90Same as specifying 270
-180Same as specifying 180
-270Same as specifying 90

The first problem was that in Apache FOP using -90, -180 and -270 as reference-orientation instead of 90, 180 and 270 resulted in content being drawn outside its block.

The first results

The commercial equivalent of FOP, RenderX' XEP, did better in this area. I used to produce my first version of the collection with Kanji for the Shogi pieces.

The power of the Open Source community

Although XEP is a decent piece of software (and the company provides free personal edition) I decided to keep on looking for open source alternative.

I described what I am doing and I asked the question about the strange FOP behaviour on public lists. I didn't have to wait long for the answer. Jeremias Maerki informed me that the situation I described is a known bug in Apache FOP which hasn't been resolved yet.

Bad news, but at least I finally knew what is going on...

The same day, few hours later, Jeremias posted his second answer: he fixed the bug!

After downloading the newest version of FOP from Apache's site I am now able to produce the collection the way I wanted to.

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