FOP should be able to handle very large documents. A document can be
supplied using SAX and the information should be passed entirely through
the system, from fo elements to rendered output as soon as possible.
A top level block area, immediately below the flow, can be added to the
page layout as soon as the element is complete.
The fo elements used to construct a page can be discarded as soon as the
layout for the page is complete. Some information may be stored in the
area tree of the page in order to handle unresolved page references
Once the layout of a page has been completed, all elements are fully
resolved, then the page can be rendered. Some renderers may support
out of order rendering of pages.
The main problem that will remain is that any page with forward
references will need to be stored until the refence is resolved.
This means that the information contained in the page should be
as minimal as possible.
Line areas can be optimised once the layout for the line has
been finalised. Consecutive characters with the same properties
can be combined into a "word" to hold the information with
If there are a large number of pages where forward references
cannot be resolved the a method of writing a page onto disk
could be used to save memory. The easiest way to achieve this
is to make the page and all children serializable.