[reportlab-users] <a> tag

Andy Robinson reportlab-users@reportlab.com
Tue, 30 Jul 2002 09:49:50 +0100

> On Mon, Jul 29, 2002 at 09:43:49AM -0400, Aaron Watters wrote:
> > This is already implemented in an alternative paragraph
> implementation which
> > we have not released.  Also included are intradocument links and
> > underlining.
> >
> Oh well, I guess that makes my pdf link efforts irrelevant.

Not at all, intra-document links are no problem to add.
It's doing them -within a paragraph- that is hard - you have
to track if the words you underline are wrapped, and figure out
all the separate segments to draw a blue line under, and of course
cope with all possible alignments
> Will this new model reach the Open Source version sometime soon ?

Not sure. Some things are easier in Report Markup Language, as we have
a purely declarative model.  Also, we add stuff when customers ask
and we often add features at the "markup processing" level rather
than in Platypus.  And we do want to have some reasons for
people to buy the commercial one, so sometimes we are more
focused on featurising that.

The next thing coming up - 75% likely to need it in August - is
Asian line wrapping algorithms.  They have no spaces between
the words and you don't want to cut characters in half so this
may need unicode.  Neither out commercial nor our free software
handles that.  This will probably start off as a separate module
or prototype to learn lessons for the core.

I think it's more likely and more appropriate to try and design
an open-source Paragraph implementation which covers all
the bases:
  - text can contain arbitrary things and not just words,
    such as dynamic expressions; graphical widgets etc.
  - full support for underlingin/strikeout etc by resolution
     of where various markers occur
  - absolutely strict specification of the allowed intra
    paragraph markup
  - nested lists, bullets and so on.
  - support for various non-European writing systems
  - resolution of cross-references
  - just as fast as the current one, in the simple cases

This is a hard problem.  If a bunch of you want to work
on it I would be very supportive.  The problem for us at
the moment is that we are very busy trying to make the
company work, and paragraphs just "aren't broken enough"
for us to devote a lot of time to it.  I would be happy
to set up an area in CVS, Wiki, web test harness or
whatever if enough people could get together and have
a crack at this.