I've done projects where I've written books in Docbook, which is an XML (though, I must admit, I was using the SGML flavor rather than the XML flavor) document format. You write the data in DocBook, then you can use tools to format it as PDF or HTML, and it formats it appropriately for the device you need it on.

I guess what I'm saying is... if you're not trying to simply reproduce an existing web page on PDF, but rather trying to write output that'll look good in both formats -- maybe outputting to one and converting to the other is not the right approach. Instead, output to an intermediate format that can be translated to either final format.


On 2/25/2010 1:21 PM, Nathan Andelin wrote:
From: Scott Klement
In my experience, different browsers on different platforms don't all
render the same page the same way.

That can be an even bigger problem for "reports", where you don't want the GUI formatting to mess with page ejects. Printed pages don't come with scroll bars ;-) We need multi-page HTML streams to fit on 8.5" x 11" printer pages.

That's one reason for asking for a single HTML to PDF conversion engine, so that you can put together HTML report templates that fit well with a corresponding PDF generation engine.

Simplifying the GUI formatting in an HTML template to make it easier to convert to PDF is less desirable. It would be better to understand the characteristics of the PDF conversion engine, and match HTML formatting capability, accordingly.

As you say, HTML to PDF conversion is not a trivial task, but I think it would be worthwhile - even a commercial solution.

-Nathan.






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