[Scribus] WP versus DTP

Peter Nermander m8130
Wed Jun 7 08:12:32 CEST 2006

> I ran into this problem early on with my newsletter. I cannot strongly
> enough recommend that only plain text files be used to input into
> Scribus then do all of the beauty formatting within Scribus.

Plain text files have their problems too.

For example if you don't use unicode there are many characters (especially for
technical writing) that you will not be able to write.

Not to mentions things like subscripts and superscripts that can be hard.

Also the writer often wants to mark up words to emphasise or similar. In our
articles we often use "defined" terms, it means a term that has a special
meaning in this concept. In the standards we use those words are often written
in small caps, and the same words often can be used with both their defined
meaning and the common meaning.

One example is the word "equipment".

Written with small caps it is the defined term according to:

Electrical equipment, provided with not more than one connection to a
particular SUPPLY MAINS and intended to diagnose, treat, or monitor the
PATIENT under medical supervision and which makes physical or electrical
contact with the PATIENT and/or transfers energy to or from the
PATIENT and/or detects such energy transfer to or from the PATIENT."

(Now I used real caps instead of small caps for the defined terms, but in real
writing that is ugly and very bad typography. As you can see there are many
defined terms and it is imortant that they are correctly marked up. And you
don't want the layout person have to spend time going through the text and fix
every single occurance...)

But the word equipment is also used as the common word equipment, it can be used
in sentences like "When the EQUIPMENT is connected to other equipment" or "When
the EQUIPMENT is connected to other EQUIPMENT".

Note the huge difference in meaning. The first one is medical electrical
equipment connected to NON-medical equipment, and the second one is two medical
equipments connected together.

So in my opinion some format that allows markup must be used.

I have been thinking of using a stripped down HTML, allowing only a few tags. In
HTML yoou can also use entities for special characters. The problem is that most
authors don't want to mess with visible markup, they want to use something like
MS Word.

What I would like is an editor looking very much like LyX, where you can define
your own markups (you tell the editor what tag to use for the markup and how to
visually indicate that markup on screen). That way you can have a markup called
"Defined_term", with tags <defined></defined> and the user will see it as green
text on the screen.

Like someone said, it can probably be done using a special DTD and some
XML/SGML-editor that supports using some kind of style sheet to visually
indicate tags instead of showing them inline.


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