[reportlab-users] "setfont" tag in RML seems not to work propelry

Andy Robinson reportlab-users@reportlab.com
Thu, 22 Jul 2004 00:38:38 +0100

> It's nice to have an open source version of RML2PDF but perhaps=20
> Fabien could do a little more to promote ReportLab at=20
> www.openreport.org. TinyRML may not be intended as a full=20
> competitor to ReportLab RML but it appears to use the same=20
> (ReportLab) specification and has the potential to steal paying=20
> clients from ReortLabs' offering.
> Credit where it's due and a link to the ReportLab.com site for=20
> "people who want the original, professionally supported version"=20
> is probably appropriate.

> An open-source version of RML was inevitable (and to me welcome)=20
> but it should still play nice with the ReportLab community and=20
> part of playing-nice is to support ReportLabs' commercial=20
> activities so that we can continue to enjoy the trickle-down=20
> fruits of that programme in the open-source tools.

Thanks for this sentiment.   I am actually aware of 3
other packages which offer general-purpose formatters
based on our package:  Zope's CMFReportTool, Spirito's Pisa,
and www.openreport.org. =20

I certainly feel 'less annoyed' about open source versions than=20
about rival commercial formatters built on our libraries, but at=20
some point we will have to 'defend our position' by having clear=20
feature comparisons and explaining to our commercial customers
what the (considerable) differences are.  The fact is that if
we can't sell enterprise-priced document servers, there will
be no business case for us to spend considerable salaried time
extending and maintaining the core libraries you all depend on. =20
However, there is little evidence that any of these tools has any=20
kind of critical mass behind them at the moment, so there's no point

I would personally like to see anyone building 'rival' formatting
languages help share some of the burden with us; if the world
would like to use RML as a standard, they could contribute to
open source features, share the load of properly internationalizing
paragraphs and so on, or (at the very least) contribute to a formal=20
compliance test suite, which would help all of us.  This could all
evolve in a 'nice' way with a base standard useful to everyone,
and useful extra features in commercial versions.  We might even
eventually be able to promote it as a standard - and one in which
Python had the first implementation out of the door.

I am also quite happy that some clever academics have agreed with us =
"RML is a more powerful, simple and flexible alternative to XSL:FO"  ;-)

However, it may be premature to worry as there is no real evidence
yet of a large user group or sustained resources which would destabilise
what we do; if this was basically Fabien's thesis rather than a bid for=20
global domination, I can only congratulate him on a great piece of work!

Best Regards,

Andy Robinson

> For the record, it appears that TinyRML uses OSE which is=20
> licenced under the (basically noncommercial) QPL=20
license.htm) rather than under the ReportLab BSD licence. That makes it =
seem like a non-competitor but I can't believe that cutting OSE out of =
the picture would be that tough.
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