[xep-support] Re: table column widths correct in FOP but not in XEP

From: G. Ken Holman <gkholman@CraneSoftwrights.com>
Date: Wed Jun 15 2011 - 15:11:59 PDT

At 2011-06-15 16:21 -0500, LW White wrote:
>my interpretation is that if the @width value is greater than the
>sum of the column widths, use that and enlarge the columns accordingly.

Yes, that is what the specification requires ... no room for doubt:

   "If the table is wider than the columns, the extra space
    should be distributed over the columns."

>This seems to be a fundamental usability flaw in the spec.

Not at all! If a user decides to overconstrain the geometry, the
specification should document a consistent behaviour for all
conforming processors, and so it does.

You are witnessing a flaw in the stylesheets! By what principle is
this a flaw in the specification? The designers had to make a
decision, they made one, it is now being implemented by conforming
tools. This is just evidence that whoever wrote your stylesheets
didn't read the specification in this regard.

>I understand that in this respect, XEP is staying true to the
>specification, which is usually a very desirable thing. But I hope
>you can understand why the result of this honoring is not desirable
>and might be worth a revisit.

Surely you mean "revisit the DITA stylesheets". If the DITA
stylesheet is not giving the users what they need, change the
incorrect stylesheet.

>While FOP's failure to consistently conform to the spec is often
>frustrating, in this case, it produces the desired and expected
>result...whether by accident or design, who can say!

I'll say "by accident". Surely a user community cannot *expect* a
commercial tool to be non-conformant.

This is not the first case I've heard of where the OT is not meeting
user expectations. My DITA customer had me write all their
stylesheets from scratch and XEP is doing a wonderful job with my
stylesheets for them.

I have no commercial involvement in RenderX so I'm writing this
purely from the perspective of a developer in the community as an
arm's-length professional opinion. If a tool is not conformant, I'm
not going to use it or advise my customers to use it. People keep
telling me that FOP is "professional" but I do not say that about FOP
because I've *never* been able to use it for my paying customers.

RenderX tools are very professional products. You get what you pay for!

As a developer I think it is out of order for a user to ask a vendor
to implement a "bug emulation mode" of someone else's problem.

. . . . . . . . . . Ken

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Received on Wed Jun 15 15:13:53 2011

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