I have create a new project that does using the views module to generating PDF documents directly without of using the HTML layer between. The approach is using the fields of the view to positioning the data on the PDF document. You can specify for each element the position relative to the page, relative to another element or write in to the Header / Footer.
This enable the system to generate more printable versions of the content. In addition you can set a background PDF as a template. With this approach we can overcome the following disadvantages of other approaches:
- No control over page flow (page break)
- Little or no control over page header and footer
- You need HTML skills to change the layout
- The are slow or need a lot of memory, because they need to render the HTML first
- Complex tables make troubles
- Vector graphics can not be implemented, therefore the printing of the document can be problematic
- You are limited by HTML's capabilities
You can find the project as a sandbox project under: http://drupal.org/project/views_pdf
Are there any interests to this approach?