[Scribus] Two ideas from an earlier DTP app

Craig Ringer craig
Fri Feb 18 20:51:24 CET 2005

On Fri, 2005-02-18 at 12:16 +0100, Eilert wrote:

> 2. With a special key you could call a small input dialog, just 1 line 
> or so, for invoking special formatting codes. I think my friend 
> explained to me that these were the codes for a machine previously used 
> for layouting in the printing world (Linotype???). Anyway, formatting 
> was made ridiculously fast by just typing some codes, and the whole 
> paragraph or text was re-alined. (He admitted that hardly anyone from 
> the DTP world knew these codes anymore and he considered himself kinda 
> dinosaur still using them...)

The POST, my employer, *still* uses the formatting codes from our only
relatively recently retired custom typesetting system. It was some kind
of ancient UNIX-ish thing running on dual m86k chips called the (IIRC)
EPIC system. It "just worked" until the day we shut it down. Sadly, it
just didn't integrate into the workflow that was developing. What I'd do
for reliability like that now ...

Anyway, the codes are still used in copy as cues to the layout folks,
though not as much as they once were. It's interesting how these things
stick around. I say this as a dedicated vim user, so it's not just an
observation from afar either.

With regards to Scribus, I wonder if installing a new top level event
filter to accept magic keystrokes and trigger the appropriate formatting
commands would work. Perhaps a fun PyQt project ;-) though I don't know
if it's possible to get that deep into the app's innards with PyQt. A 
C++ plugin might be able to do it though. This isn't something I intend
to tackle (it'd be cool, but there's too much else do to), but it might
be worth looking into if someone *really* wants a feature like this.

On a side note, I have a basic DCOP plugin working now - it works fine
with unmodified 1.2.2 CVS and no longer requires Python or PyKDE like my
initial tests
( http://wiki.scribus.net/index.php/Experimental_PyQt_projects )
did. I don't know if it'll go in CVS - that'll depend largely on build
system issues - but if not I'll put it up so folks can download it and
install it separately, in case anybody's interested. Even with 1.2.2 a
fair bit can be done with it, especially high-level "remote control" of
the interface.

Craig Ringer

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