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

Andy Robinson andy at reportlab.com
Tue Oct 13 09:28:36 EDT 2009

2009/10/10 pier carteri <pier.carteri at gmail.com>:

> 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)

> 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?

Fairly close. However (bearing in mind my bias as RML's vendor) I
would like to add two things:
(1) The pricing for RML is linked to volume and it's quite affordable
for many smaller or departmental projects - not just enterprise-grade.
We'll have a lot more info about this on our site soon.
(2) We have many tags in our product which do things that would be
fairly tricky to implement elsewhere and are not just wrappers around
our open source code (e.g. parsing and re-using PDF pages). With
rival implementations, you'll have to try them to see what diverges
from our docs
(3) If you want a zero-cost approach, you can also construct Python
code using our open source library to create documents, and get
support from hundreds of users here. If you use a rival RML
implementation, you're relying on its authors and a smaller community

> 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

> maybe....

I am not aware of anybody else having applicable patents.
ReportLab do not believe in software patents, and I don't think you
can patent a standard.

BUT Report Markup Language and RML2PDF are our trademarks, and we will
seek to defend them.
Practically, if someone else is creating an implementation, we expect
them to clearly acknowledge it is an alternative implementation of our
product; state whether they use our engine; try to document what they
do and don't support; and try to support their own users. Stephan
Richter (author of z3c.rml) has been very good about this and his
package has good docs.

> -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?

There is a fairly recent copy here:

However, we don't want this to be a canonical published location for
apps to check against, because we don't want people nagging us about
moving it or versioning it, or complaining if we add an attribute or a
tag. We do not have a 'standards process' like the W3C; instead, we
add stuff when we need it, often at short notice.

Each RML2PDF package contains a copy of the DTD which is used for
runtime parsing of RML and is 100% in sync with the code.

If you want to try out the commercial version and/or get a price
quote, you will find a DTD within the package, just email our
enquiries address on this page here...

Best Regards,

Andy Robinson
CEO/Chief Architect
ReportLab Europe Ltd.
Media House, 3 Palmerston Road, Wimbledon, London SW19 1PG, UK
Tel +44-20-8545-1570

More information about the reportlab-users mailing list