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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Lemme start by saying that before I got into programming, I did desktop publishing and typeset many a business card using antiquated versions of Quark and/or PageMaker. So I know very well the horrors of which you speak.

    If I were you I would look into replacing PDF::API2 with PDFLib (or the free version PDFLib-lite). Sure, it is not on CPAN and so annoying to install, but the level of quality in the output and control is top notch. We have been using it at $work for creating very high quality reports and graphs for almost 5 years now and I am very happy with it. The API is very C-ish and procedural and not OO like PDF::API2, but if you know the basics about Postscript and how PDF documents are structured it makes sense. And since the library itself is in C it's pretty fast as well.

    - Stevan

    • Good.

      We did find PDFLib, and identified it as our last-resort strategy (we'd prefer not to have to replace the renderer).

      As for the horrid API you mention, I was just planning to write a CPAN'ified object-oriented wrapper around the C-inspired one.

      Chalk one up for inflexibility to Java here.

      Every other language they support uses the same ugly hacked API, except for Java which doesn't support it, so they HAD to provide a "real" OO API.