http://www.perlmonks.org?node_id=157678

kappa has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Hello, fellow perlmonks.
My current project (as well as many projects in the past) involves generating reports (or just filling forms) for printing. You see, I've got a document form which must be filled with data entered through a web-form and then be presented alone on a page suitable for printing right from the browser.
The hard part is generating the image. The way of calculating (x,y) coordinates of each and every text string (i'm using raw GD right now) is really hard especially as the forms are changing often, new fields are added and old are moved around. Growing complexity brings me more and more grief as I now need to wrap text blocks, underline words, resize tables, add different justification and the like. I don't really want to reinvent a TeX or just MS Word.
The next problem is templating. The guy next to me draws a new form which I then translate to series of (x,y) by hands. The process is really no fun and slows down the work greatly.
What I really need, is a tool similar to numerous report-generating engines in the VB/Delphi/Access world. What do you all think on this issue? I've googled the thing but found nothing! NOTHING at all! I dream of something like:
my $rep = new Image::Template('invoice.png'); $rep->param(account => '123123123', name => 'Don Quixote'); $rep->savefile('filled.png');
Of course, this probably would involve some voodoo :)
And no, TT2 GD plug-in is not what I look for.