Re: [xep-support] can the < > symbols be replaced with &lt; and &gt;

From: G. Ken Holman <>
Date: Sun Oct 14 2007 - 14:04:04 PDT

At 2007-10-14 15:39 -0400, Jerry Janofsky wrote:
>I have an issue where I am generating XSL:FO that looks like this
>(see below) because my XSLT disables output escaping. This
>understandably causes trouble with XEP 4.6, it ignores the line.

As it should.

>I could avoid this problem if XEP could understand
>this: &lt;/fo:table-row&gt; instead of </fo:table-row> Does it?

It doesn't and it shouldn't. Why would the text string
&lt;/fo:table-row&gt; be considered markup? The whole reason we have
markup is to avoid such things.

> <?javax.xml.transform.disable-output-escaping ?>
> </fo:table-row>
> <?javax.xml.transform.enable-output-escaping ?>

The fact that you are doing this on the end of a table row indicates
to me that the original transform could probably be written in such a
way as to avoid the need for escaping in the first place. When one
starts "tricks" to get around a poorly-written algorithm, problems
are bound to creep up in the long run. As now.

The *sole* use-case for disable-output-escaping is for sending markup
such as HTML that cannot be expressed in XML except as a text string
to a remote system that needs to understand the non-XML as markup not
as text. It is not designed for use in hand-crafting pseudo-markup
to make a transform "easy".

And, anyway ... you are dealing with table rows ... did you consider
the cell-based row-grouping strategy instead of the row-based
row-grouping strategy and just use the starts-row= and ends-row=
attributes to signal the start or the end of a row?

I've come into broken projects as the "fix-it" guy only to find such
abominations as "&lt;/fo:table-row>&lt;fo:table-row>" because the
original stylesheet writer didn't take the time to either code the
algorithm correctly (which takes some thinking; the writer was taking
a "programming approach" instead of a "templating approach" to the
problem) or use the alternative approach available in XSL-FO of using
cell-based properties.

I recommend you study the use of XSLT and XSL-FO and fix your
original transform such that d-o-e is never used, and then you won't
have any such problems.

I tell my students "if you think you need disable-output-escaping,
then think again because you probably don't and you definitely shouldn't".

I hope this helps (though I doubt it is what you wanted to hear).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . Ken

Comprehensive in-depth XSLT2/XSL-FO1.1 classes: Austin TX,Jan-2008
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G. Ken Holman       
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Received on Sun Oct 14 14:56:21 2007

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