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Report Generation

Report Class

The Report class is aimed to model a report document in an object-oriented fashion. It is a subclass of list, hence exposing the same methods. It also manages report elements' names for distinguishing elements in some particular output formats.

from import *

r = Report()
r.append(List("item1", "item2", name="mylist")

Free text

Note that free text can also be used. In this case, it will be handled as a Text element instance.

New elements can be: - Appended: report.append(*elements) ; note that, on the contrary of list.append, it can take multiple inputs. - Prepended: report.prepend(*elements). - Inserted at position: report.insert(integer, element). - Extending the report: report.extend(list_of_elements).

Header and footer

The Header and Footer elements can be added only once. Any additional instance is ignored.

And just like with the list, we can also copy() or clear() a Report instance. The count methods uses the element class name in lowercase to provide the counts of a type of elements.

Report Objects

Multiple report elements can be defined:

Class HTML tag Description
Blockquote(c) blockquote Quoted text block, taking 1 argument: the [c]ontent
Code(c) pre Code block, taking 1 argument: the [c]ode
Data(d) Data [d]ictionary ; its HTML is generated using json2html
Footer(l,c,r) Footer text for displaying on every page, split into 3 sections: [l]eft, [c]enter and [r]ight ; center's default is the page numbering (format: #page/#pages)
Header(l,c,r) Header text for displaying on every page, split into 3 sections: [l]eft, [c]enter and [r]ight
Image(s,d,w,h) img Image reference, taking up to 4 arguments: the [s]ource and optionally a [d]escription, the [w]idth and the [h]eight
List(*i) ol, ul List of [i]tems that can be ordered or not
Table(d,ch,rh,cf) table Table with column and row headers, taking 3 arguments : a list of rows as the [d]ata, a list of [c]olumn [h]eaders, a list of [r]ow [h]eaders and a list of [c]olumn [f]ooters
Text(c,t) p Text paragraph, takin 1 argument : the [c]ontent to be displayed as a paragraph or any user-defined [t]ag
Title(t) h1 Big bold title line, taking 1 argument : title's [t]ext
Section(t) h2 Bold section title line, taking 1 argument : section title's [t]ext
Subsection(t) h3 Bold section title line, taking 1 argument : subsection title's [t]ext


All these elements can have the following styling keyword-arguments:

  • size: font size ; defaults to 12
  • color: font color ; defaults to "black"
  • style: font style attribute (bold, italic, ...) ; default to "normal"

Note that the aforementioned default values do not apply for particular size-dependent elements (e.g. h1, h2, ...) but using the size can still be forced by using the related keyword-argument.

Element naming convention and assignment

Elements are named by default with their class name. Any single instance will have its element class name as its own name. If multiple instances of a class exist, the name is class-id, with the id being the index (starting at 1) of the element occurrence for this class. E.g. a report with 3 Text elements will have names, in the order of insertion, "text-1", "text-2" and "text-3". If this report has only 1 List element, this will be named "list" by default.

This default behavior can of course be avoided by stating the name in the keyword-arguments of element's initialization. In this case, any other element from the same class initialized without a name will still have its name generated with its id. E.g. a report with 2 Text elements whose one with the name mytable will have its text elements named "mytable" and "text-2".

Output formats

The Report class aims to model a report for generating it to multiple common formats such as HTML or XML. The following formats are available:

  • csv: this gathers all the data from List and Table elements to aggregate these into a single CSV.
  • html: this generates the HTML version of the report.
  • json: this collects all the data from the elements, by default in the form {name: data}, and Data's data attribute (which is already in the JSON format).
  • md: this generates the Markdown version of the report.
  • pdf (only works with Python 3): this generates the PDF output of the report object with the filename set at Report's object initialization or with its filename attribute (note that ".pdf" is appended by the output method).
  • xml: this generates the XML version of the report, representing the data by using elements' names like with the json output format.

Output indentation

For HTML and XML formats, the indentation can be set by using the indent keyword-argument. For HTML, the indentation defaults to 4 characters and for XML, it defaults to 2.