I need to be able to deliver simple A4 pages – three small, single-line text blocks, a central photo and then a footer with another small text box and a logo – as XSL-FO files, for integration in a mildly odd publishing workflow. Naturally, I reach for my Adobe tools … but which one can help? I'll start by posting here in case the answer is Illustrator, but any general advice would be welcome.
Thanks for the tip, Monika – I'll take a look, though the chance of being allowed to order new software just for this one, infrequent task is of course small. Of course, Illustrator can output xml as well; I regularly use it to adjust .svg drawings. The problem is that while svg is xml, it's somehow not the same sort of xml as xsl.fo :-}
I wanted to generate XSL:FO a few years back, so I could customize it, but I gave up; I couldn't find any tools that suited me to make it. XSL:FO is not a graphics format, but a document format. As such, it's unlikely to be exported fromi any graphics app or document app. The crucial difference between a graphics and document format in this case is flow: when you design something with Illustrator, you expect anything you export to look like it. But for XSL:FO, the text flow is done by the XSL:FO renderer, so it could change significantly, even the number of pages. In this regard it's more like a Word document than a page layout.
This difference of concept also dooms any idea of converting SVG to XSL.
There are specialist tools for designing in XSL:FO, however. They probably integrate an XSL:FO rendering engine.
Thanks for the farther thoughts. I don't feel the "flow" issue should really make any difference in my particular case: luckily enough, I'm not hoping to let XSLT loose on thousands of lines of text. All I want to do is define a single A4 page. And other people involved would like me to do it using the tools they've already bought for me …