[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Docmentation/FAQs

There are plenty of good reasons to use LaTeX for the templates,
especialy where formatting is incredibly sensitive (for example,
printing checks), but HTML templates are also supported for a reason
though not for printing checks for obvious reasons.  The more I look
into it, the less convinced I am that LaTeX is the wrong technology
for the templates.  The biggest problem is that the current templates,
like the rest of the software, suffer from an acute lack of planning
and an unwillingness to really leverage the technology.

Your reasons can be solved by other mechanisms as well. Latex is just the one that current users are used to, and new users will run from like it was a flaming building. (just my not so humble opinion)

There are two sides to the current issue:
1)  What do we use for large printed documents.  Personally, I think
that LaTeX is an extremely powerful aspect to this solution that ought
to be leveraged wherever appropriate.  But in the end, whether you
enclose your chapters with <CHAPTER> tags as in docbook or separate
them with \chapter{} macros as in LaTeX matters very little.  As long
as the content is well managed it isn't much of an issue.  (My own
suggestion is that the large documents be independantly maintained but
draw from community-maintained XHTML respositories.)

Well Docbook is going to use latex to provide print output ;)

2)  Do we use an XML-based templating system (there are several
options for pipelines, but they eventually have to convert to
Postscript and/or PDF for the formatting reasons you mention) or do we
stick with the current system?  Or do we support both?  Obviously the
current system is in serious need of some changes, but do we fix them
in place or throw it out (causing users to have to redo their

I would say we give people fair warning, and state that they are going away (assuming we can find an appropriate replacement)

My own view is that I don't see why we can't do both.  I expect to
keep a wait and see attitude towards a fundamentally different
approach to templating, and I think the current system can be
drastically improved to the point where most of the complaints go
away.  There are, however, a number of intreguing possibilities which
include JasperReports or some XML->ReportLab possibilities.  The
degree to which such a system will be actually an improvement,
however, will greatly depend on the details.  I think that there will
be a lot of work in this area.

Well ReportLab is interesting as is TT but there are many ways we can approach this.


Joshua D. Drake


   === The PostgreSQL Company: Command Prompt, Inc. ===
Sales/Support: +1.503.667.4564 || 24x7/Emergency: +1.800.492.2240
   Providing the most comprehensive  PostgreSQL solutions since 1997