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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] Noob: Python DocBook to PDF

Michael Hipp wrote:

> Anyway, I need to display and print reports as requested by the user and 
> also do program-driven printouts with no user intervention. And not make 
> a career of it. Simple, right?
> So my constraints are:
> - Printouts are mostly defined outside of program code (e.g. template 
> files)
> - Changing data can be inserted into the template processing stream with 
> minimal fuss
> - Standards-based; some degree of future-proof; minimal dependence on 
> single vendor
> - Options for various output types (i.e. PDF, web, etc.)
> - Mostly written by someone other than me (I've enough to do)
> - Without the hood welded shut
> - Callable from Python
> - Multi-platform (Win & Lin)
> - As lightweight and resource stingy as possible
> - A visual report designer would be nice, but not a necessity
> Mostly I've come down to these options:
> 1. DocBooks using xsltproc and apache-fop
> 2. RML using Tiny rml2pdf
> 3. OpenRpt
> 4. PythonReports
> All of those solutions fail on one constraint or another. Numbers 3 & 4 
> would likely be "last resort" for various reasons. RML is appealing but 
> isn't any kind of standard. DocBooks is a real standard but coupled with 
> fop weighing in at 68M it doesn't seem lightweight and the complexity is 
> intimidating.

Yes. My view on your compromises needed.

1. If they want it laid out 'just so' then they will kick at docbook.
Docbook has a standard layout with some configuration.
2. Your multi-media requirement should mandate an XML source (suggest 
for templates and source). Need to check that the 'other person' is OK
generating XML.
3. Curious about the 'lightweight' issue. Is the chequeue signer 
ancient? Not normally something people worry about these days unless
it will be running n threads on a laden server.
4. Callable from Python is doable, but don't forget Jython if you need Java.
5. Visual report designer is getting into silly space for this workflow.
There are such tools, but I've no experience of them. 'Paint' the PDF 
you want and map the XML into it.

********** Can anyone think of any? ************************

I can't see Oleg's suggestion of Latex fitting into this mix very 
comfortably, especially the templating side.

I think you could be into some negotiating. Try and find out where
their priorities are?



Dave Pawson

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