[reportlab-users] Documentation (was: Feature Request)

Dinu Gherman gherman at darwin.in-berlin.de
Mon Oct 27 07:19:59 EDT 2008

Dirk Holtwick:

>> Perhaps it'd make sense to set up a common SVN "playground" for us

>> such that we can co-work and share ideas and code.

>> I invite you as SVN committers for the wordaxe library, if you like!

>> Or perhaps ReportLab.com could open a branch on SVN for

>> contributions?

>> That way other RL users would find it more easily.

>> And BTW this would be a good place to create unofficial

>> documentation and samples as well.


> I just modified the Paragraph implementation because I needed to...

> but you are totally right that a combined effort would bring things

> to a better end.


> I had a look at your implementation and it looks like a good

> starting point. The implementation of Dinu is clean but I guess it

> does not yet offer all the features the Reportlab Paragraph offers.


> All that I need is a paragraph object that takes fragments where

> each fragment can have some style properties. I see this in your

> implementation, Henning, and the general abstraction look usable.

> Maybe one could go a step further and try to to get again more small

> maintainable peaces like Dinu did.

As I see it, Henning, Dirk and I have slightly different goals,
with mine being, maybe, the most amibitious, namely deriving
a paragraph implementation that is rather easy to understand
and to extend. As soon as some people want to join my effort
I'm more than willing to move my code to an online repository
like Launchpad.

From my perspective the technology or tools are not the issue,
but rather the lack of time, resources, interest and fear on
different sides, some reasons of which being sometimes ex-
pressed with some of the others.

Another prime reason is documentation (and the lack of it).
Sure, there is a user guide, but there is no developer guide
and there never was. But when you analyse the feedback and
questions on this list, a developer guide would be very help-
ful, at least if ReportLab Ltd. wants to help others to de-
velop additional features for their library. (Recently there
was a question here about JavaScript, and I could name

The user guide contains only one chapter about developping,
namely about flowables ("an open standard for creating re-
usable report content"). Open Standard? Well, this is based
on examples only and is much too simple to be useful for
anything else than figures, especially not for anything
that wraps.

I think the best developer guide right now is Robin Becker
responding on this list, and maybe it would be a good idea
to give him four weeks off on the Seychelles with internet
access so people could ask him anything and write down
what he says.

BTW, chapter 10 of the user guide says "We are open for
suggestions. Please let us know what you think is missing."
That's what I'm trying to do.



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