[reportlab-users] a bit confused on rml present and future

pier carteri pier.carteri at gmail.com
Sat Oct 10 12:27:15 EDT 2009

Hi to all,
This is going to be a long post... sorry for that

I've used reportlab open source library for quite a long time and I
must say that I'm completely satisfied with it. So once again thank
you all for this piece of software; it's a great gifts to open source

That said, back to my question: I would like to explore the rml
approach to report generation but, I'm a bit confused on its copyright
and licence. I try to explain what I've undestand (please correct me
if I'm wrong)
- rml is an xml dialect developed by reportlab; it is not an xml
standard. Reportlab can change the definition when and how they want,
depending on their needs. Basically that means they can add new tags
or attributes because I don't think they will never change the
behavior of existing one. Use of rml is free, you don't have to pay
for creating rml documents.

-rml describes the layout of a report and needs to be converted to
somethings else for example pdf or html. Reportlab provides this kind
of software as a proprietary solution. This is of course the most
accurate and complete software for creating pdf from rml files.
However there are also some third part implementation free and open
source like the one used in OpenERP (I think it was previously called

So if someone wants to create pdf based on rml file there are 2 solutions:
-purchase a copy of reportlab software to manage rml and pdf files
(best solution for enterprise-grade project)
-create rml file and use some of the rml2pdf tools freely available to
convert them (best solution for small project with no budget)

Is everything right?
That said if I want to start use the rml language I' ve a couple of question:
-is there any possibility that rml use will became more restrictive in
the future? Please note that I'm not worried about reportlab people,
they have already prove to be good guys; I'm asking if there are any
patents on rml language that someone somewhere in the future
-I have found the rml manual on reportlab website but I've not found
any rml definition: can someone point me to the rml.dtd?

Thank you!

More information about the reportlab-users mailing list