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XML Templates for AlivePDF ?

Hey guys, AlivePDF is getting better and bigger, and I was wondering if you guys would like to have a feature like describing PDF documents through XML.
This would allow you to create XML templates to generate PDF's, this would make things really easy if you guys are managing a lot of PDF documents.

To get some feedbacks about this feature, just vote, so that I can get a better idea of your opinions :

What do you think about XML templates for AlivePDF ?

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Thanks for voting ;)

Comments 12

  1. Jens Wegar wrote:

    This would be very useful indeed. I’m actually currently working on a project where we will need a way to have the look and feel of a PDF output be defined on the server side, because it needs customer branding. So I’m actually looking into creating an XML-based template system where we can define the general look of the PDF on the server side, but have user specific data inserted into the output on the client side.

    So, from my point of view, a template would need to support variable injection of some form.

    Posted 08 Oct 2009 at 5:00 pm
  2. Quentin wrote:

    What about using a the textflow XML from the TLF framework?

    Posted 09 Oct 2009 at 11:59 am
  3. Thibault Imbert wrote:

    Hi Quentin,

    Yes, this is definitely a nice idea :)

    Posted 09 Oct 2009 at 12:15 pm
  4. Tran Minh wrote:

    Thank you for this great lib. But i dont like the thought to make the lib bigger. So could you please shift all template processing part out of the core and try to maintain the core’s size as small as possible ? That would be awesome.

    Posted 16 Oct 2009 at 5:43 pm
  5. Lach wrote:

    Definitely some kind of declarative templates are the way to go. If you need to generate documents with even moderately complex layouts, describing them through procedural code quickly becomes unwieldy. I’ve been building a templating system based on MXML, so describing a PDF layout is not unlike describing any other Flex view. That way you don’t need to actually do any XML parsing, the MXML compiler can convert your layout classes into the ActionScript equivalent. It’s pretty light weight too.

    Posted 21 Oct 2009 at 1:50 am
  6. Chris wrote:

    Hi Thibault,

    I am in the early stages of a project that uses XML to define a layout and then create pdfs based on that so I am very interested that you are talking about this possibility.

    I am wondering if you have decided to do this or not and if you are whether you could share the structure of the XML before you have actually integrated it, so that I can use the same XML structure in my project.

    Would you make up an XML format or use something existing like the SVG format? I’ve had a go at using SVG but have found transformations to be quite confusing when a simple rotation=90 would be so much easier.

    I look forward to your reply and thanks again for the great work.
    Chris vR

    Posted 14 Dec 2009 at 2:34 pm
  7. Jon wrote:

    Why not use MARS format as the basis? Check Adobe Labs …

    Posted 17 Dec 2009 at 9:42 pm
  8. Thibault Imbert wrote:

    Hi Jon,

    I’d love to! Unfortunately, it seems like the MARS project is almost dead at Adobe :(


    Posted 20 Dec 2009 at 4:18 pm
  9. Andy wrote:


    Just found alivePdf, and having a look! Sounds very interesting, keep it up!

    XSL:FO already defines how to represent documents in XML. Why not use that? Altova’s Stylevision product (as an example – I’ve used it!!) makes it pretty easy to build an XSL template to transform XML into XSL:FO. If alivepdf could take the XSL:FO then generate a PDF, it might be extremely useful (in the same way that Apache FOP does on Java etc)!

    I hope I’m not too late, nor missing the point!

    Posted 10 Feb 2010 at 3:53 pm
  10. Ahmed wrote:

    Dying to get this feature. All other XSL-FO processors are java based (FOP) and the only way to use them client side is through Java Applets (I guess its possible, but haven’t attempted). With microsoft pulling out the JVM from their end and their continuous fight with Sun and in situations where we can’t get the Java Plug-in or JRE installed on user systems, I hope AlivePDF processing XSL-FO and their claim to generate pdf client-side would be a great revolution. Do you guys have a timeline for this feature availability? Please advice.

    Posted 22 Apr 2010 at 3:01 am
  11. Taniguchi, J. wrote:

    Hi Thibault,

    I took a good look on the doc file and I must say: Nice work! Although the topic its kinda old, I’m working on a Flex project that outputs XML to be transformed in PDF. I got the whole thing working but far form perfect. I got problem everywhere like text size (html), text position, document background and the list goes…
    That goes without saying that parsing XML on PHP using simplexml can make the code looks a “little” messing and hard to catchup if you don’t know the vars…
    For THOSE and many more reasons, if you come up with a class capable to do all that, I will embrace it as my own child =)

    Thanks and keep up with the amazing work!

    Posted 23 Apr 2010 at 6:24 am
  12. Taniguchi, J. wrote:

    By the way, I’ll share some of the major probs I got, just in case (I was using TCPDF):

    - Document background;
    - Document layer;
    - Document matrix transformation;
    - Document filters (apply filters);
    - htmlText Position XY and size;
    - Image filters;
    - Image transform matrix (skew, rotate,..);

    My output PDF works but the components positioning are not quite right.


    Posted 23 Apr 2010 at 6:30 am

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