[Scribus] Big Project - Question/Comments

Craig Ringer craig
Sun Oct 30 06:46:32 CET 2005

Christoph Sch?fer wrote:
> Hi Marshall,
> Marshall Lake schrieb:
>>I am currently working on a book-type project.  In the end I want to have 
>>three digital versions ... one in plain text, one in HTML format, and the 
>>third in PDF format.  I am nearing completion of the plain text version. 
>>I have many images to include in the project which will not be part of the 
>>plain text version but will be part of the HTML and PDF versions.
>>I have experience in HTML but I have never created anything in PDF format 
>>before.  I have yet to use Scribus for a project but I have a little 
>>experience in desktop publishing having worked with PageStream (I believe 
>>it was called) on the Atari some 15 to 18 years ago.  :)
>>I was thinking that I would create the HTML version of the project next, 
>>and then the PDF version using Scribus.  But it occurred to me that 
>>possibly an HTML version can be automagically created from Scribus.  Is 
>>this possible?  It seems to me that saving a project in HTML out of 
>>Scribus would not be too difficult.  If it's not possible now, is it in 
>>the works?
>>I'm open to any and all comments and/or suggestions concerning my project 
>>and how to proceed.  (It's a big project ... the plain text version being 
>>a little under 5 MB currently.)
> A few comments and suggestions:
> HTML export is planned for Scribus but not implemented yet. However, it 
> might never be possible to use Scribus for some kind of "cross 
> publishing" (print and web) as propagated by Adobe (InDesign) and Quark 
> (XPress). As it seems, most Scribus developers and users seem to agree 
> that both kinds of publishing are different and in many aspects opposite 
> tasks (see: http://bugs.scribus.net/view.php?id=1977).

Yep. Some don't though. Who knows what'll happen.

I personally think that no matter what tool you use, it's going to be 
very difficult to do a page layout and expect an app to be able to 
export it to civilized HTML. HTML that works (in sufficiently CSS 
compliant browsers), probably, and even looks good. But not HTML that's 
accessible, well structured, friendly to the user, readable, works well 
on a variety of display sizes and resolutions, and so on. If you don't 
care about any of that stuff, then sure, exporting HTML from DTP might 
sound like a good idea - but if you do, then at the very least I think 
the app would need some sort of built-in support for giving it hints as 
to how the content should be output as HTML. Sort of a hybrid HTML 
editor and DTP tool. Even then, it won't produce great results.

Even dedicated GUI HTML editor tools still have a bit of a hard time 
doing anything civilized in the face of a user who wants to absolutely 
position everything.

Personally, I suspect your best bet might be to use Scribus or OO.o 
(OO.o will be faster and perhaps easier for long, large documents, but 
gives you less easy control over layout, design, and the resulting PDF) 
for the PDF version, then a dedicated HTML tool (I favour "vim" :-P ) 
for the HTML edition.

It does depend a lot on what your requirements are for the HTML are, 
though. If you "just want to get it up there" without too much concern 
about the factors I listed above, then OO.o's HTML export might well be 
able to do the job for you.

Craig Ringer

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