Definitive XSL-FO is written for the beginning XSL-FO stylesheet writer, not the XSL-FO engine implementer.
Background and overview information sets the stage for the stylesheet writer to comprehend why this XML vocabulary exists. Important terminology is explained and the names of key concepts are highlighted. The components of the vocabulary are grouped in discussions focused on functional areas. Examples illustrate each of the formatting objects.
It covers all the formatting objects of XSL-FO and summarizes their properties. This book assumes no prior knowledge of XSL-FO.
Simple things can be done simply in XSL-FO. The objective of this book is to help you get started producing high-quality layouts quickly. For esoteric requirements, the complete text of the XSL 1.0 Recommendation in all of its agonizing (but necessary) detail is required, so it is referenced section by section from the body of this book. Thus the reader with special requirements can delve into the nuance and finely-grained functionality not needed by most users.
Note that neither the Recommendation itself nor this book attempt to teach facets of typography and attractive or appropriate layout style, but only the formatting semantics, the implementation of those semantics, and the nuances of control available to the stylesheet writer and implemented by a stylesheet formatting tool. XSL-FO is a very powerful language with which we can possibly create very ugly or very beautiful pages from our XML-based information.