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33.1 formatter -- Generic output formatting

33.1 formatter -- Generic output formatting

This module supports two interface definitions, each with multiple implementations. The formatter interface is used by the HTMLParser class of the htmllib module, and the writer interface is required by the formatter interface.

Formatter objects transform an abstract flow of formatting events into specific output events on writer objects. Formatters manage several stack structures to allow various properties of a writer object to be changed and restored; writers need not be able to handle relative changes nor any sort of ``change back'' operation. Specific writer properties which may be controlled via formatter objects are horizontal alignment, font, and left margin indentations. A mechanism is provided which supports providing arbitrary, non-exclusive style settings to a writer as well. Additional interfaces facilitate formatting events which are not reversible, such as paragraph separation.

Writer objects encapsulate device interfaces. Abstract devices, such as file formats, are supported as well as physical devices. The provided implementations all work with abstract devices. The interface makes available mechanisms for setting the properties which formatter objects manage and inserting data into the output.

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