I've copied this discussion to the Ruport mailing list, please
continue the conversation there.  We don't generally use RubyTalk for
discussion about Ruport, both for kindness reasons and because we like
to keep an archive of the things we discuss for reference.

On 10/3/06, Mariano Kamp <mariano.kamp / acm.org> wrote:

> > We didn't get a roaring response of Yes!
> Well, I would like to have the docs available as pdf for offline use
> and because I never really quite got the hang of searching the html
> docs efficiently.
>
> > [..]
> > However, what we can offer is support for anyone interested in doing
> > this.  I've used htmldoc to convert html to pdf, and it'd be cool if
> > we can get something more robust into Ruport.
> But rdoc already provides simple markup as a basis, doesn't it? Using
> html would mean to reverse engineer the semantics from a format that
> is already rendered for presentation, wouldn't it?

Yeah, If RDoc had an output format that was easily traversible, or if
there was a parser that would create this. (Pure ruby object, YAML, or
even XML), then it'd be much easier.  Since AFAIK it does not, it's no
different to parse text with RDoc in it than it is text with HTML,
except that RDoc *might* be more simple to render.  (Who knows?  There
is a lot of automatic magic in RDoc that'd be tough to replicate
without giving it some thought)

> > It might be better to attack it from the HTML to PDF direction rather
> > than the rdoc to PDF direction, since it would be more general.  (Then
> > one could use textile,markdown,rdoc, whatever, convert to html and
> > ruport could then render to PDF)
> Not quite sure that I get that. Where exactly comes textile or
> markdown into the picture here?

They each also output html.  If we had an html-to-anything converter
in Ruport, we could then not worry about supporting the individual
nuances of textile,markdown,rdoc,etc

> > If anyone wants to take the initiative on something like that, go
> > ahead and catch up with us on the Ruport mailing
> > list(http://lists.stonecode.org/listinfo.cgi/ruport-stonecode.org) or
> > in #ruport on Freenode.  All of our developers are currently tied
> > down, but we can take the time to help get the information out there
> > that would be needed for folks who wanted to build something like
> > this.
> I think I expected this to be something like a new output format for
> rdoc, like xml etc. is today. Your thinking goes along the lines to
> build something that works outside of rdoc in ruport, or am I missing
> the point here?

Yep, if this existed, i'd happily support RDoc -> whatever in Ruport.
YAML or XML that I could easily traverse would make it easier to
support arbitrary output formats.