[scribus-dev] Who is going to kill the style dialog ?

Louis Desjardins louis.desjardins at gmail.com
Mon Nov 1 04:16:08 CET 2010

2010/10/31 Christoph Schäfer <christoph-schaefer at gmx.de>

>  On Monday 01 November 2010 00:28:09 Gregory Pittman wrote:
> > On 10/31/2010 07:22 PM, Christoph Schäfer wrote:
> > > First, I want to reiterate that the Style Manager in its current
> > > incarnation needs a rewrite. It's too big, the UI is unintuitive, and
> > > worst of all, it's full of bugs.
> > >
> > > One thing I like about the concept, though, is the separation of
> > > Paragraph and Character Styles, because this allows for some quite
> > > sophisticated use of styles and style hierarchies. On the other hand,
> > > Louis's remark that font size and line spacing are connected is without
> > > a doubt valid. We will have to see how to solve this, once the OIF work
> > > on the text engine has been finished.
> >
> > The separations of various settings for Paragraph and Character styles
> > may make some sense, but since a Character style is a subset of a
> > Paragraph style,
> Yes and no. A paragraph style can use a character style, but the latter can
> also be applied separately, independent of a paragraph style.

Understand that perfectly.

The paragraph style includes a character style while a character style does
not include paragraph settings.

One other way to explain this is this :

To apply a paragraph style, you only need to have your cursor anywhere
between the  two rerturn characters that deliminates that paragraph. Or you
need to select any text that touches the paragraphs you want the style to be
applied to. On the other hand, in order to apply a character style you need
to have a selection of character or chararacters.

That said, it cannot be made clearer that when setting up a paragraph style
we need to have access to all the settings that make sense toward that goal
in one single dialog. The worst thing we can do at this point is spare
developing time by using the same dialog for the character part of the
paragraph style AND the character style. Two different things. Two different
approaches. No mather if they look the same, in fact.

Setting up color for instance is not allowed in the paragraph tab but it is
allowed in the character tab. Which is not only strange. It’s wrong.

The other strange thing is the drop cap... which the user can set in the
paragraph style but not in the character style... Thus, no color can be
applied specifically to a drop cap.

I have to wonder why we should follow the giants’ steps on that path. If
they are that right all the time, why in the world try to develop an open
source solution?

Quark 8 is completely wrong in their splitted char-par approach wrt style
sheet. You can’t even set a color to the drop cap. After more than 25 years
of development it’s rather decieving. Interestingly enough, people still
make their way through this because I guess they kind of have the habit...
they are used to it now... They select the drop cap manually and apply color
to it... Woah!

But Quark is right at implementing the idea expressed in 2004 by Nyam
(sorry, last time I mispelled his name) : right click prompt for style name.
It’s done. It’s in Quark 8 and maybe was in Quark 7 (can’t check, sorry)
Humbly, I propose to go further than that but on the same path when I say we
don’t need the style dialog at all.

ID ha gone the MS way by filling the application with SO much things...
Remember... typeface, typesize, leading... KISS...

Only a few thoughts.


>  > you should be able to see all these settings when you
> > work with a Paragraph style, rather than needing to jump between tabs in
> > the dialog.
> Agreed, but before we redesign the SM, we'll have to see what the rewrite
> of the text engine brings and what this means in terms of space needed in
> the dialog. One thing that would already help as a guideline is to move to a
> more horizontal layout, since that's how screens are designed and used most
> of the time. We are currently wasting space with our vertical approach.
> Christoph
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