Samuel Wesley said it best, back in 1700:
In other words, if you want to communicate your data well, you need to dress it in a style that will be accepted and understood by your intended audience.
For centuries, the needed styles have been achieved by means of sophisticated formatting and page-oriented navigational tools. The popular Web-based presentation technologies, such as HTML and CSS, can't do this job. But the alternatives, until recently, have all been proprietary.
Now the W3C's Extensible Stylesheet Language Formatting Objects (XSL-FO) Recommendation offers a standard XML vocabulary for describing almost any print-like style.
If you've worked with XPath and XSLT, you know the power of XSL to transform a document. XSL-FO is the rest of the XSL standard. It lets you style the rendition of your data with the meticulous control needed to accommodate the cultural expectations of different readers and the constraints of their environments.
G. Ken Holman is the perfect author to teach the powerful capabilities of XSL-FO. He founded the OASIS XSLT/XPath Conformance Committee and was a member of the W3C group that developed XML.
No one has taught the subject more. For his consulting firm, Crane Softwrights, Ken teaches XSL personally throughout the world and on Web-casts, and indirectly though the licensing of training courses.
Ken has developed a unique list-based style for writing about XSL that eliminates the problems that normal prose can introduce. Web Techniques said "Holman's outline style is surprisingly easy to read. I'd like to see other authors adopt his approach."
Canadian designer Dmitry Kirsanov created a book design that fully supports Ken's writing style. The design has been realized through XSL-FO stylesheets developed by Alina Kirsanova.
The result is Definitive XSL-FO. It will help you dress your thoughts in style, by mastering the power of XSL Formatting Objects.
Charles F. Goldfarb