[Scribus] Character-by-character placement in PDF

Craig Ringer craig
Thu Oct 20 04:50:13 CEST 2005

Gregory Pittman wrote:

> Let me offer this observation. If there is a more or less absolute need 
> for efficiency of this type, consider that all of the pertinent text 
> information is really contained in the Scribus .sla file. This file can 
> be transmitted with a lot less overhead, especially if you're just 
> talking about text. There are only two requirements on the receiving end 
> -- a working copy of Scribus compatible with the Scribus file type 
> (1.2.x vs 1.3.x), and the correct fonts (though subs can be done in a 
> pinch).

Honestly, I don't think that's realistic. PDF is a widely used and 
supported standard, and increasingly it's all that printers want to 
accept. The printers I deal with don't accept QuarkXPress or InDesign 
documents anymore (good on 'em); the chances of a printer taking Scribus 
docs are near zero.

Printers generally want to avoid all that fuss with fonts, minor 
incompatibilities, version differences, things that export fine for the 
client but not for them, etc. I'm all too familiar with these issues as 
I take on the role of "the printer" for people who submit jobs for 
inclusion in the newspaper. It sucks, and PDF is the best thing that's 
ever happened in this area.

As for online viewing, I don't know about you but I find having to 
download a .odt / .doc quite annoying enough - I can imagine how 
irritating it'd be for someone who just wanted to read a document to 
have to download and build a current Scribus version.

On top of all that, for print the size of the PDF won't be the problem. 
It'll be how long it takes to RIP. Where you create it doesn't affect 
that. For online viewing the issue may be the same - display speed 
(which can be slow with Scribus-generated PDFs on some viewers) as well 
as file size.

That said, I must agree with Craig Bradney and with Andreas - it's not a 
realistic thing to fix in the current codebase with the current text 
engine. As there's replacement in development that should be able to 
support much smarter text handling - including smarter handling of PDF 
and PS text - I think it'd be foolish to spend time on this at this point.

There's a lot more to do - features, bug fixes, and general polish - so 
it doesn't seem worth doing work that should thrown out before ever 
making it into a release version.

Craig Ringer

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