= kevin lyda <kevin at suberic.net> [20000629 1629]:
> kuro5hin's suggestions:
>> db->perl script->cpan xml/html/troff/latex modules->files
> ->translate to postscript->printer
>> why? what does that gain me besides an extra coffee break while i wait
> for the print outs (or more correctly while the accounting department
> waits for that crummy linux system to print some invoices).
i think these people's approach makes more sense if you put the process
in a graphical context, and then juxtapose that solution with a text
application. for example, if you have a bunch of 3d models in a
datastore and you want to print (or just render) 2d projections of them,
the (logical, IMHO) data transformation process would be:
3d data -> 2d polygons, lines, fills, glyphs -> postscript
i think just mangling the data into postscript is too low-level for
what you want to do. think about what you have to do if the accounts
department say "i want an extra column in between Quantity and Subtotal
called Data". editing postscript to do that would be a complete PITA i
conceptually, you need to apply 'style' to the data from the database,
but that doesn't mean you need to tell the printer when to line-feed or
'print a black dot here' or whatever. i would use (La)TeX to lay out
the data and text on the page, and then shove them out to postscript and
in turn to the printer. i reckon for the level of control you require
you would probably be better off using raw TeX though.
i reckon the suggestion to use xml is bollocks because it doesn't model
style at all, only (meta)data.
i reckon the suggestion to use html is bollocks because it doesn't model
style adequately (re: your requirements for precise typography and page
> now pdf would be similar but it'ss somewhat closer to ps so i suppose
> there's probably not a huge speed penalty, but i don't need a portable
> document format. it seems like an unneeded step. i need a very specific
> format: one that prints in a deterministic way to a piece of A4 paper.
i wouldn't use pdf for the same reason i wouldn't use ps -- because
it's too low-level.
> so dp->unknown->printer. i'll see if the cpan pdf modules can handle
> the unknown section, but i wonder if people can think of another way?
> btw, searching for "language postscript" on google is useless - i get
> links to manual pages in postscript form! argh! another alternative
> is to extend the PostScript::Document module but I'd need to learn
> postscript first...
have a look at LaTeX, and if that's too much of a cookie-cutter
approach to document formatting for you, try TeX instead.
i think all you are really looking for is a functional equivalent of
crystal reports, and TeX, properly programmed should fit the bill.
however i would rather you than me, i find TeX rather scary. :)
hopefully i haven't just confused you even more and this will be
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