Appendix B: Glossary of terms and abbreviations
In typography, the imaginary line on which characters sit. The
x-height of a font is measured from the baseline to the top of a
lowercase x. The descender, for those characters that have one, is
defined as the portion of the character that falls below the baseline.
Named after the French mathematician Pierre Bézier, Bezier curves
utilize at least three points to define a curve. The endpoints are
called the anchor points, while any other point is known as a node. The
curves produced by RML's <curves>
tag are Bezier curves.
A bitmap is a way of storing an image. In bitmaps, each pixel
("picture-cell") is stored as one or more bits of data in a "map"
consisting of rows and columns. This means that when you print them
out at the size they were created at they look fine, but shrinking or
enlarging them leads to them looking blocky and ragged.
JPEG and GIF are both bitmapped graphics formats (as are BMP, PICT and
PNG). You can use gifs and jpegs in your RML document with the
see also "gif", "JPEG", "image"
Named after the nineteenth-century mathematician George Boole, Boolean
logic is a form of algebra in which all values are reduced to either
TRUE or FALSE (or 0 and 1).
A way of specifying a color by its Cyan, Magenta, Yellow
and Black ('Key') components. Usually used when referring to
pigments - such as in printing.
Document Type Definition. A term from XML that refers to the file that defines the
legal building blocks of an XML document, and the permissible ways to structure it.
"Empty" elements are those tags that don't have any content, and are closed with
a "/>" at the end of the same tag rather
than having a separate closing tag. (e.g. <getName id="Header.Title"/>
doesn't have a separate </getName> tag - the
"/>" serves to close it so it doesn't need one).
Empty elements are also sometimes known as "singletons".
In RML, the color that a graphic or text item is filled with (as opposed to that
of its outline or stroke).
In RML, "flowables" are items which appear in a story (such as paragraph,
spacer, and tables). Flowables are positioned in sequence running
down a frame until there is no more room left in that frame, when they
are placed in the next frame (or on the next page if necessary). They
can not be mixed with graphics.
Flowables include the following tags:
see also "graphics"
GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is a bit-mapped graphics file format created by CompuServe in 1987.
It is still in common use on the World Wide Web and many other places today.
You can use gifs in your RML document with the image tag.
see also "bitmap", "JPEG", "image"
In RML, "graphics" are items which can appear inside the pageGraphics and
illustration tags. Unlike flowables, graphics are explicitly positioned
on the page by co-ordinates. They can not be mixed with flowables.
see also "flowables"
The Hyper-Text Markup Language. The language used for writing pages
on the World Wide Web.
In RML, the "image" tag allows you to use existing graphics files in your document. Currently image supports
the GIF and JPEG formats - the two most common formats on the World Wide Web. Most paint
applications support both the GIF and JPEG standards.
see also "bitmap", "GIF", "JPEG"
A lossy compression technique for color images created by the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG).
Better for photos than the GIF format, it can use up to 24-bit color and reduce file sizes to about 5% of their normal size.
JPEG files are widely used on the World Wide Web and many other places.
(The JPEG format is sometimes known as JFIF, JFI, and JPG as well as JPEG).
You can use JPEG files in your RML document with the image tag.
see also "bitmap", "gif", "image"
Leading (pronounced "ledding") is the amount of vertical space allotted for a line of type - the
distance between the baseline of one line to the baseline of the next. The name comes from the
way that printers used to use thin strips of lead or brass to separate the lines of metal type.
In RML, leading can be supplied as an attribute for the para and
It is expressed as the height of the line plus the space between lines. So, for example,
using a 12 point font with a leading of 18 gives you a space between lines of 6 points.
You can also have negative leading. By giving a number smaller than the size of font you are
using, you can arrange it so that the lines overlap each other.
An adjective from mathematics meaning "relating to or composed of right angles".
A non-orthogonal transformation is one which does not preserve right angles.
skew is a non-orthogonal transformation.
The Portable Document Format. A format created by Adobe, this is a standard for
electronic documents which is platform-independent due to the freely available
Acrobat reader. The PDF file format is a complex indexed binary format, with a
specification 600 pages long. (RML is much easier!)
A way of specifying a color by its Red, Green and Blue components. Usually used
when referring to lights - such as on a computer screen.
Report Markup Language. An XML dialect, created by ReportLab, Inc,
and and used by their software rml2pdf to produce documents in PDF.
See "empty elements".
The part of an RML document where the main content of a document goes (if it uses
the "template/stylesheet/story" form). This is where text - split into paragraphs
by <para> tags - is put.
In RML, the color of the outline of a graphic or text item (as opposed to that of
its inside or fill.)
This is an obligatory part of an RML document. It is where the styles for
paragraphs and blockTables are defined (though it can be empty).
In those RML documents that use the "template/stylesheet/story" form, this is the
part of the document where any headers, footers, or background graphic elements
Plain, ordinary, or standard [from the default flavor of ice cream in the U.S.]
In RML, you can put in letters, numbers, and punctuation in places which allow you
to use "vanilla text", but tags such as <para> or
<b> are not allowed.
For programmers, whitespace refers to all the characters that appear as blanks on your screen.
This includes the space and tab characters, linefeeds, carriage returns, and other more specialised
For designers, whitespace is any areas on a page that aren't the content - the bits that are free of text or artwork.
The Extensible Markup Language - a document processing standard set by the
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) - the people who defined the standard for HTML.