[lug] Development & reporting tool choices

David Morris lists at morris-clan.net
Thu Feb 5 18:34:16 MST 2009

On Thu, Feb 5, 2009 at 16:50, Kevin Kempter <kevin at kevinkempterllc.com> wrote:
> Hi All;
> We're preparing to embark on a new development project. It will eventually be
> released dual projects similar to Red Hat with a commercially supported side
> and a leading edge open source side.
> The project will pull data from a database and present info to users. We'll
> need a graph/chart component and a way to generate html, PDF and spreadsheet
> reports/downloads. It will be a web based interface.
> Questions:
> 1) I'm thinking we'll write the initial commercial (closed source) code in C.
> Anyone have any thoughts/alternative suggestions ?
> 2) anyone know of a good source of C library routines (something like CPAN) ?
> 3) Any thoughts on the methods to generate XML via C ?
> 4) Any suggestions per the generation of the PDF, HTML, etc reports on screen
> and for download ? maybe php within the web front end? a set of C routines to
> be called based on basic report parameters? others ?

Not certain if the language is flexible, but unless performance is an
issue, I might be tempted to use Python instead of C.  The Python
language has some fantastic libraries for database access, XML
handling, string parsing, PDF generation, and web-page interfacing.  A
lot of functionality comes in the standard libraries shipped with the
language, the rest in widely used third-party libraries (such as
ReportLab for PDF generation).  You can also easily interface to C/C++
code if needed using SWIG.

It is still possible to provide closed-source binaries for python
code, FYI.  I haven't done this myself, but I know there are a couple
of different ways to handle it.


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