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I've submitted a talk for YAPC (waiting for approval...) on generating reports from XML data in Perl for a variety of output formats (Excel, HTML, plaintext, PDF, etc...). Haven't considered a *graphics* format, but it wouldn't be hard.

Laying out an human aesthetically pleasing report is not a trivial exercise as I found out. Once you factor in group, break, sort, total and everything else it's nightmarish.

The architecture I've got is fairly intelligent and felxible, and so far has held up to months of pounding by a lot of customers and support people. It's pluggable so that new output formats are a snap to add, and the kind of data you feed it is unimportant -- we can run system reports or invoices through the exact same code.

Bad news: the code is not open-source. The company paid a lot of money for it, and won't let the code out. It's a competative advantage right now for them not to release it. Good news: I'm allowed to discuss the architecture and design as much as I want as long as I don't give the code away.

If you're interested I can give some details or an overview of how things are done. Of course, I'm not going to put a ton of work into documenting it until YAPC approves the talk. :)

In reply to Re: Generating beautiful reports by clintp
in thread Generating beautiful reports by kappa

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