[reportlab-users] reST and PDF using Reportlab

Sidnei da Silva reportlab-users@reportlab.com
Wed, 30 Apr 2003 20:18:27 -0300

On Wed, Apr 30, 2003 at 11:40:11PM +0100, Andy Robinson wrote:
| Thanks for letting us know!  Email me privately about the 
| scope of your plans and we'll sort something out with CVS.

The main plan is take the PDF Writer to a level where it can generate
the same output as seen here:


This PDF was generated by the Latex writer, and later processed by

There are a few things that im not sure that can be easily done by
reportlab. One was generating links (external and internal), which
seems to be solved by the new para.py module. The other two are:
footnotes and images inside paragraphs. I cant see other things that
may cause problem atm.

| Actually, we're REALLY keen
| to push docutils to the point where it can do long
| documents such as user guides - it's just that our
| time is fully allocated this quarter.  I started to
| converse with David Goodger on this recently too. I 
| suggest you email me privately and maybe we can harmonize 
| the efforts. 

I think that once we get a basic writer working, it should sort out
very easily.

| If we reached a point where we could do Python PEPs in
| PDF, and thus write our own tech-notes and procedure documents,
| I think I'd decree it the 'reportlab documentation standard'
| and we'd port all our manuals to reST / docutils-xml.

That would be really cool indeed. 

| On paragraphs: the plan was always to supercede the two 
| implementations with one, which is a lot more O-O and open to 
| extending, subclassing and so on.  However, we got to a position 
| where nothing was actually broken for us and therefore did not
| move on with it.  I would welcome cleanup and commenting
| of the new para.py as a first step, but I think a genuine
| rethink is needed.  We had a big patch from Ury Harshak
| on right-to-left text which we could not accomodate
| because our paragraphs are not currently "pluggable" enough.

Is this patch somewere where I can look at? I will have the whole day
tomorrow (holiday here) to dig para.py. Ill probably start by cleaning
identation/whitespaces/etc and then commenting the code. 

| To really improve paragraphs to do what I think docutils
| need, my feeling is that we ought to 
| (a) make some "sandbox" area so that more people can
| contribute new implementations, and be a lot freer
| with CVS access here
| (b) define a rigorous test suite for what paragraphs
| are supposed to do (including speed benchmarks as well
| as assertions about how they come out)

This one would be essential.

| (c) identify the missing features in the container
| and layout algorithm.  Typically, this might be extra
| flowables, or properties thereof, which give guidance
| to the frame or layout algoruthm. For example, nested lists
| could be done easily by having an 'indent' and 'dedent'
| instruction which told the frame to reserve space on
| the left and right.  

It really depends on what the goals are. I was able to make some nice
nested lists using Paragraph on the PDF Writer, but of course having a
special flowable for lists would help a lot.

So, my current plan is:

 - Cleaning para.py

 - Implementing links/bold/italic/bullet lists on the PDF

 - Putting it on CVS so people can give suggestions

Sidnei da Silva (dreamcatcher) <sidnei@x3ng.com.br>
X3ng Web Technology <http://www.x3ng.com.br>
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