[Scribus] XML format used in Scribus

Oleksandr Moskalenko malex
Sun May 15 02:36:28 CEST 2005

* Gregory Pittman <gpittman at iglou.com> [2005-05-14 12:40:30 -0500]:

> Marvin Dickens wrote:
> >Question:
> >
> >Is the XML format used in version 1.3 stable or will it change/evolve more 
> >before version 1.4 is released? Also, what is the possibility it will 
> >change/evolve again as development versions 1.5/1.6 progresses?
> >
> >The reason I am asking is that we want the ability to massage Scribus 
> >Documents in their native XML format and I do not want to reinvent the 
> >wheel with every new release.
> > 
> >
> I think it's been pretty clearly stated that so far, the formatting of 
> 1.3 files is unstable, thus the admonition to not use 1.3cvs for 
> production work.
> The last I checked, the original XML-like formatting of Scribus was not 
> considered "well-formed", at least by Perl XML parsing modules.  The 
> problem there largely seemed to be the use of Ctrl-E as a 
> newline-equivalent in the files (when I got rid of the Ctrl-E, they 
> parsed).  XML parsing presumably stumbles on Ctrl-anything.

Well, the new file format will be in both well-formed and valid XML with a
proper DTD to validate against. Documenting everything is an imperative
activity that is taking a long time as well, but there is a good understanding
that it is necessary. There is so much flux in this work right now that what
you see today is sometimes quite a bit away from what was there yesterday.
Later in the 1.3 series is a probable entry point for the new format.

> It seems to me that these "soft" newlines should not be part of the file 
> as saved, but simply be internalized in the way that the file is 
> ultimately displayed by Scribus.  Once the file is transformed to a 
> format in which this is hard-coded (such as PDF) then the point at which 
> Scribus made that line break should be codified.
> I have to say that I am concerned that, from my assessment of various 
> Scribus-list messages, there is no plan envisioned for any capability 
> for Scribus versions 1.2x or below to be able to handle >1.3x files; not 
> even conversion utilities.  I can understand that there are features of 
> 1.3x and beyond that do not correspond to prior versions, but the result 
> is that at some point anything <1.3x will suddenly be crippled.  One 
> then must worry that at some point advanced versions will then not be 
> able to load anything <1.3x.

It would seem to be a misplaced use of developers' time to backport 1.3+
format handling into the 1.2 series. However, since 1.2 format is amenable to
scriptable manipulation and 1.3+ will be even more so, there is nothing
stopping someone from using an XML parser library for python for example to
create a conversion utility. Let's make it clear again what Craig and Peter
mentioned time and again before - this conversion utility will have to make
all sorts of compromises and judgement calls as 1.3+ format will describe
things that scribus 1.2.x series would not have the slightest idea about and
the "translation" can't be straightforward beyond the simplest documents.



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