is jfor dead?

Someone rightly asks if the jfor project is dead. No releases, no answers on the mailing lists, nothing happening.

The answer is easy if you consider that the community is more important than the code (citing Stefano Mazzochi from the top of my head): currently there’s no jfor community.

In the last few months, I’ve been answering most or all messages on the jfor mailing lists. Either the few subscribers that are there don’t read the lists anymore, or they don’t care, or I’m too quick (not).

Developer’s contributions have also been very thin, also because being the sole more-or-less active committer makes it hard for me to integrate them quickly. The lack of need for jfor improvements (no itch to scratch) in my current business also worsens the situation, and it might be similar for other people: although very limited, jfor is good enough for many uses. It is too good and too bad at the same time, I guess.

Stefano is right. No community, no project.

So if anyone’s interested in becoming famous (not) in Open-Source, new committers for jfor would be welcome. There’s also the integration with FOP which has not happened yet, for similar reasons.

And if you need something that jfor doesn’t provide: show me how good you are at coding, and nag me to become a committer. You might become famous one day ;-)

So, is jfor dead? Maybe. It depends on whether the jfor community is alive, and I’m not ready to be a community of one.

Update (2003-12-04):
The recent nomination of Peter Herweg as a FOP committer is good news. Thanks to Peter the integration of the jfor code into FOP has made good progress already, and being a committer will make it easier for him to go forward.

3 Responses to is jfor dead?

  1. mrG says:

    I don’t know about community, but certainly if there is no business itch to scratch, there’s generally no project — I’ve known (and managed) projects that lasted for years with only two or three users, but those uses _required_ the software enough that it was worth pouring cash into it, so there was someone who could work on it while also paying the bills.

    But this seems like an itch others must have: DocBook to MsWord must be a common problem, and the only way I see of getting this done is via RTF, so either I’m mistaken and there is no demand for tech docs in MsWord (yeah, right), there’s already some other solution that is easier/cheaper or there’s something else amiss.

    Seeing as I’m constantly being nagged to give out my tech docs in Word, and that I am unable to find any viable means to translate DocBook/XML into Word docs (there were Jade methods for RTF) I’m lead to wonder if there was something wrong with jfor. For my own use, I can’t pursue it because it won’t accept em-measures and DocBook XSL it rife with em-measures, so I’m off looking for some other method (or just abandon DocBook for this client and go back to a fontpainter like StarOffice, yuch) — as much as I’d like to say “Oh, I’ll just add em to jfor,” it’s neither practical to think I could get up to that speed with it quickly, nor to think that my total investment to do so would pay off in the one or two such short articles I have to produce to this requirement per year.

    That leads me to think Jfor is not dead, but comatose ;) a sleeping beauty awaiting a prince who has the real itch to at least take it as far as processing standard DocBook into RTF such that the distro DocBook XSL will run unmodified, and that, just maybe, will be enough for jfor to cross the chasm.

  2. Pierre says:

    So let’s start a community then !

    I agree when you say JFOR is too good and too bad at the same time. What is done has been done very well, but there are still big features lacking.

    I am currently using JFOR to generate the outputs of a expert system for Bristish roofers. The documents stored in XML are translated into both PDF and RTF, which gave me the opportunity to compare FOP and JFOR. Well, of course JFOR does not stand the comparison yet, but only because it has not been finished. What works is really performant.

    In conclusion, do not stop that beautiful project.

  3. srinivas says:


    please provide the URL for the JFor With examples


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