[FRPythoneers] PythonPoint on Steroids

Matt Gushee mgushee at havenrock.com
Sat May 19 16:40:50 MDT 2001


Hi, Folks--

Dunno if everyone has heard of PythonPoint or not -- it's a ReportLab
application that generates a PDF slide presentation from an XML source
file.

Anyway, I first tried PythonPoint a few months ago, and was very
impressed with its versatility and the quality of its output. But I
also found that some aspects of its design really got in the way of
usability and usefulness. So anyway, I've finally gotten around to
hackin up an enhanced version of PythonPoint, which I'm calling
HavenPoint. My main goals were: 

  * to improve the XML DTD; in particular, to
    + cleanly separate elements with different functions
      (e.g. metadata vs. formatting objects)
    + provide named templates, thus eliminating much of the redundant
      markup that the old DTD required

  * to take advantage of forms (in PDF jargon, those are reusable
    graphic objects; by using forms you can reduce file size and
    speed performance)

  * to bring more attention to a wonderful but not-very-well-known
    tool, and make it easier to use for people who don't know Python
    (of course, everyone should know Python, but since much of the
    world hasn't figured that out yet ...)

So try it out, and let me know what you think. The package is
available at:

  http://www.havenrock.com/downloads/havenpoint.html

You will also need the ReportLab package from

  http://www.reportlab.com/

Also, I'm working on the next version, which will support CSS
stylesheets. I'll probably have it done tonight or tomorrow. If
anyone's interested, I could do a little show-and-tell at the
beginning of Monday's meeting.

By the way, I've only tested HavenPoint on a Linux 2.2/glibc2.1.3
system with Python 1.5.2 and ReportLab 1.06. I would expect it to work
with later versions of everything, but haven't confirmed that yet.

Matt Gushee
Englewood



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