[reportlab-users] manual proposal

adam hyde adam at flossmanuals.net
Mon Oct 20 05:10:33 EDT 2008



> In principle it sounds great. We'll review in a team meeting today.


> First, some

> questions for Adam and everybody else....


> (1) To everyone: should it start with a "port" of the existing user

> guide, with volunteers

> copying and pasting? Or would a completely fresh start be best?


I leave this one for others to comment on.

> (2) right now we have vector diagrams drawn with snippets of ReportLab code

> within our PDF manuals. In principle, with some reworking, these could

> be generated both as bitmaps and as vectors within the PDF copies,

> with a directory in SVN to contain the diagram scripts.

> Adam, would you be OK with trying to extend your toolchain to use these,

> with some help from us? Or does every one of your manuals have to

> share exactly the same toolchain?


Our input is WYSIWYG, and we keep everything in xhtml. To integrate a
method for script inclusions might be a little tricky in this
environment. Using already rendered bitmaps is not a problem of course.

> (3) is there any mechanism to sync or export the flossmanuals source

> into text that can be committed into SVN? One of our biggest and best

> "tests" is whether the manuals generate OK; and it would be a bit

> weird trying to keep directories of examples and diagrams synced

> with a web app in a remote repository, rather than just running

> "genuserguide.py" every night as we do now.

we can work something out. what would be your preferred format? xhtml
good enough?


> (4) Adam, would you be willing to privately share some of your PDF-building

> code with us so we can help make sure it has all the best features? This

> would pay off for all of your manuals, of course.


Well, we currently use plain vanilla reportlab and Pisa. We made some
changes in Pisa and submitted the patches to Dirk. So I have nothing to
forward to you except your own code ;)

You can see the tool that outputs our PDF here:

Its really just sucks up the xhtml sources, collates it, and runs it
through Pisa with a predefined css. Thats it.



> - Andy

Adam Hyde
Founder FLOSS Manuals

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