Server side PDF manipulation and creation

peter renshaw goonmail at
Tue Mar 23 00:28:05 CST 2004

ADFH wrote:

>Some of the things I stumbled across in CPAN seemed a little primitive
>in comparison, but perhaps I didn't delve far enough.
Creating PDF from scratch?
* AxKit  - ( ,

-Perl based XML application server
-XML ->XSLT -> PDF (or any other format)
-active newsgroup, written/maintained by perl xml guru matt sergeant
-tricky to setup for newbies (tight integration b/w apache, mod_perl and 
perl )
-may not be suitable for low volume usage

Converting formatted data to PDF?
*HTML-->PS-->PDF,  HTML-->PDF,  M$ Word -->HTML-->PS--> PDF
-I pretty much asked the question ( **complex HTML-->???-->PDF?* 
<> - 
* )  but from a
  slightly different start point. A lot of the data was originally in 
html format but some unprocessed.  The suggestion (matt sergeant) was to 
use HTMLDoc
  with AxKit ( )
-more about Word --> PDF at

-easier to convert originals rather than create from scratch
-time to completion known

Manipulating PDF?
*read "Thinking in Postscript"
-books out of print. If you want to program it using perl tools then you 
have to be aware of it's limitations

-time to completion
-low code reuse

>What have people done with their PDF tools?
>Any caveats?
Yeah. If you can start with DATA --> META DATA MARKUP (xml, etc) --> PDF 
rather than say manupulate PDF in raw mode.
The advantages of this approach can be read at ...

*XML as a format has standard tools and techniques available
*POD is quick and dirty
*HTML if have little choice.
Markup could be anything but make it a standard that has tools that can 
finally convert to PDF.

>Primary purpose in this case is to provide customised application forms
>etc. to clients from a website.
What is your path? ( Web input --> Perl + DBI --> PDF )?
You do not mention *how* in enough detail.
Work out what your path is?
Try not to reinvent the wheel.
This problems been covered by quite a few.

Regs PR

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