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From Angus Lees <>
Subject Re: pdf generation
Date Wed, 22 Sep 2004 02:52:03 GMT
At Mon, 20 Sep 2004 09:54:29 -0500 (CDT), Ben Kim wrote:
> I'd like to learn what people use to generate pdf files. I want to
> create pdf from an epl page, with all data from the database.

Many ways of doing this, depending on what quality/complexity of
output you require and what tools you are more familiar with.

In the past, I've generated (large) LaTeX files from perl and run
pdflatex over them and slurped the PDF back in.  Mostly similar
methods exist for many other (non-perl) typesetting systems like troff
or XSLT-FO-based tools like FOP (as Luiz mentioned) or passivetex.
The slight advantage of the XSLT-FO based tools from the Embperl point
of view, is that you can use Embperl to generate the XML input without
having to write a new Embperl syntax.

At the simpler end of the spectrum are several perl modules on CPAN.
A quick search on turned up high level modules
like PDF::Template or PDF::Report and other tools that require some
PDF knowledge like Text::PDF, PDF::Reuse, PDF::Create or PDF::API2

I guess POD format and Pod::pdf, pod2latex|pdflatex or
pod2man|groff -Tps|ps2pdf would also give you a way to generate PDF
from a simple intermediate markup language (no tables unfortunately).

There are also several methods of turning HTML into PDF.  If one of
these tools can generate acceptable output then that might be an easy
route for you to take if you are unfamiliar with other markup

If I needed to generate PDF again, I'd probably go with ConTeXt
(like LaTeX but not) and either a custom Embperl syntax or even try
ConTeXt's XML-input features.  I'd do this almost entirely because I
am already familiar with (and like) working with ConTeXt -- it is
unlikely to be the easiest solution for your needs.

 - Gus

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