[reportlab-users] Looking for a How-to to get me moving quickly

Benn Bollay rl at magitech.org
Fri May 5 16:59:58 EDT 2006

Hey Andy,

Thanks for the feedback, it's really great to hear the suggestions and
comments people have!

Just to make sure I understand the relationships right, RML is a commercial
product that uses RL to convert from a markup language to a PDF file, right?

FYI, cute little snippet for left or right data justification:

def left_justify(data):
   return zip(*map(None, *data))

def right_justify(data):                           ## For a memory bonus you can use:
   max_col = max(map(len, data))                   ## max_col = reduce(lambda a,b: max(len(a),len(b)), data)
   return [(None,)*(max_col - len(entry)) + tuple(entry) for entry in data]

All due credit for these goes to #python on irc.freenode.net, specifically
AcidReign, Ceran, and polpak :)

Regarding the docs -- imho, PDF printing is what brings users to ReportLab,
Platypus is what will convince them to stay, and (you hope!) RML is what will
convince them to give you money :D  Perhaps shortchanging the Platypus
documents is shortchanging a vital step along the way?

One thing that I would definitely suggest is, as promotional as it is to eat
dogfood, please render your manual documents additionally HTML!  I would love
to deep link to specific sections all throughout my article, but that's
difficult (impossible, even?) to do with raw PDF files.  Not to mention how
clumsy Adobe's in-browser reader is...


On Friday, May 5, 2006, 10:11:53 PM, you wrote:
> Benn wrote:
>> Hey All,
>> As it just so happens, I just finished a fairly brief look at getting started
>> with ReportLab, at:
>>    http://www.magitech.org/2006/05/05/getting-started-with-reportlab/
>> I'd tremendously appreciate any feedback, comments, or suggestions people
>> might have!
>> -G

> Benn, this is great - many thanks indeed for writing this!  I'll link to 
> it from our own site on the next update.

> It's particularly useful for those of us inside ReportLab to get 
> feedback on how others see the library at the beginning, and will 
> encourage us to fill a few gaps too.  I think I'll tweak the test runner 
> right away.

> One thing I might suggest adding (and I am adding to our own docs) is a 
> brief reference to the Report Markup Language manual and tests....

>    http://www.reportlab.com/docs/RML_UserGuide_1_0.pdf
>    http://developer.reportlab.com/examples.html

> The reason our documentation on PLATYPUS is so patchy is that it's the 
> engine for a commercial markup language which has a spec (DTD), much 
> better documentation, and test cases written to be read by humans.  When 
> time gets tight, RML gets documented and Platypus often doesn't.  In 
> most cases there is a VERY close correspondence between RML tags and the 
> corresponding classes and attributes, and it's way easier to really 
> understand Platypus by skimming the RML examples.   Most of our brains 
> are tuned to read markup languages by now anyway...

> Keep up the great work, and we'll keep listening and maybe even pitch in 
> some content ourselves...

> - Andy Robinson

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