[reportlab-users] Release notes on the website

Marius Gedminas marius at gedmin.as
Thu May 14 13:25:48 EDT 2009

On Thu, May 14, 2009 at 04:34:04PM +0100, Andy Robinson wrote:

> 2009/5/14 Marius Gedminas <marius at gedmin.as>:

> > I was looking for a web page outlining the differences between ReportLab

> > 2.0 and 2.1 (yes, we still use 2.0 in production, shame on us), and

> > found this: http://www.reportlab.org/relnotes.html


> Funnily enough I've just come out of a meeting discussing the

> desperate need to revive our stalled project to replace

> www.reportlab.org with a much better site.


> This page is not linked from the menus, and ought to be removed.

(I'm not sure what "menus" are, but I found that page by clicking on
a series of hyperlinks starting from the reportlab.com front page.)

> The

> first sentence ("We release every 2-3 months") is probably the biggest

> lie but thanks for reminding us!


> With 2.1, I am embarrassed to say no such document exists. We went a

> LONG time between releases without having a high-level changes list or

> documentation, and all we could really say is that it was "18 months

> worth of bug fixes and minor enhancements". The best we could do

> was a huge report out of the subversion logs. For completeness'

> sake we should have a page for 2.1 which at least says this.

I found the file called 'changes' (unexpectedly lowercase for a Unixy
person like me, but it's a .zip file, so it figures) in the .zip files.

I can try to summarize:

* bugfixes
* corrected text justification (yes! /me happy!)
* support for strike-through
* support for <br/> and <a> in paragraphs
* Bitstream Vera TrueType fonts added to the distribution
* compatibility fixes for Python 2.3 and 2.5

There was some mention about TTF checksums in the changelog. Was 2.1
the first release that replaced the old and *terribly* slow Python
checksumming code with an accelerated C version? That'd be worth

There were some changes related to character spacing or perhaps kerning,
but I haven't noticed anything pertinent in the changelog. Compare:


Here are the differences highlighted:


> In any event, if upgrading I would recommend to go for the latest

> release version (2.3).

Unfortunately 2.2 changes vertical positioning of paragraphs in a way
that breaks out reports. Compare:


2.3 produces the same output as 2.2. I haven't figured out yet whether
the bug is in our code, or in ReportLab. The text that remains in the
same position is drawn with

canvas.drawString(x, y, "string")

The large title text that is now shifted up is drawn with

para = Paragraph("string", style)
para.wrap(PAGE_WIDTH - x * 2, PAGE_HEIGHT)
y -= para.height/2
para.drawOn(canvas, x, y)

The same vertical shift up happens everywhere Paragraphs are used, e.g.
tables containing Paragraphs inside table cells (also visible in that
image). It also happens to flowables added to the story, i.e. the first
paragraph on every page is shifted up:


Marius Gedminas
Hoping the problem magically goes away by ignoring it is the "microsoft
approach to programming" and should never be allowed.
-- Linus Torvalds
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