ODF Templating using Appy pod
The last time I tried to produce ODF text document from Python, I hack Django templating to load an ODT file as a template. Long story short: Don’t try this at home. The fact that the application is still running in-production is very much a miracle.
Last week I suddenly stumble upon Appy pod. Oh if only I had found you sooner! Pod uses OpenOffice’s track changes feature to insert template placeholders and notes for conditionals and loops. This makes templates to be very simple to create. Aside from ODF, pod can also call OpenOffice in headless mode to generate the result PDF format.
Of course there are some limitations. You can’t put a word by word conditional, you need to use a paragraph. You can’t loop more than one row in a table. Also if there are errors, the error messages will be displayed as notes in the output document. While this simplifies debugging, it won’t look professional when it is seen by the user.
I you ever need to generate ODF documents from Python, do give pod a try!