[Scribus] Linux Font Editor?

Christoph Schäfer christoph-schaefer
Sun Oct 2 21:46:45 CEST 2005

Hi John,

> It ain't gonna work. I did have TeX and LaTeX installed at one time. 
> Couldn't even figure out how to launch either one of them, let alone 
> use them.

As Greg pointed out, you don't have to launch anything but a text editor 
to write a LaTeX file.

> And I have perused texts at Powell's Technical Books 
> about them. The texts will not suffice.

Maybe you found the wrong books. A personally prefer the books of Helmut 
Kopka on LaTeX. They are written for bloody beginners an advanced users 
alike, and I know at least some of them are translated to English (do a 
google search on Helmut + Kopka + LaTeX).

> In my linguistics classes I could never learn the subject just from 
> the textbook. Once the prof has explained the subject in a lecture 
> and there has been a class discussion of it, only then does the 
> textbook finally start to make sense.

That sounds strange to me. What will you do when you finished your 
studies? There is no prof to explain things to you then. You will have 
to gather information yourself, from books and other sources. That's 
what studies are all about, at least in Germany: training people to work 
  autonomously. The job of teachers and profs is being a guide in 
achieving that goal.

> You guys ascribe to me far more ability with computers than I 
> have.

Look, when I wrote my Ph. D. (history, not math or natural science), 
which consisted of no less than c. 800 pages, I was a bloody newcomer to 
computers. I was fighting hard with word processors, because some things 
are hard to achieve. Also, I started with Word, which is a disaster when 
it comes to long and complex texts. I then moved to StarOffice. It did 
the job, but was a bit slow at that time (5.1). A friend of mine did me 
the favour of installing Linux on my machine and recommended LaTeX. I 
bought a book (from Kopka), and I was impressed by its simplicity and 
elegance. It was way easier than working with a word processor.

> And even if I could do it, why spend the time it would take? Scribus 
> I can already handle with a negligible learning curve.

I'd say the learning curve for Scribus or any other DTP software is 
steeper than for LaTeX ;)

> All I need is a 
> usable OpenType font with all the IPA characters as well as cool 
> DTP characters. Fonts I have some rudimentary understanding of. I 
> even used Fontographer to make personal changes to fonts once a 
> long time ago. Frankly, it would be less work to buy Fontlab and 
> make the font I need than to learn TeX.
> Plus, I must repeat myself, even if I learned TeX, it does not do 
> anything for the other half of my goal -- to make available an open 
> source DTP + IPA font that ALL linguistics students can use.

As others pointed out, the fonts are already there. And if you really 
can modify or create fonts that print well, you will certainly be able 
to use LaTeX, because the former requires advanced knowledge and 
experience in font technologies, aesthetics, and the history of typesetting.

Don't get me wrong, but I'm not sure if scribus is the software of 
choice for your goal, while I am quite sure LaTeX is. BTW: Could it be 
possible that you tried to understand TeX instead of LaTeX? If you read 
a book on TeX, I would understand your confusion, because TeX is really 
esoteric, even for programmers (I have been told).



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