[Scribus] Scientific publishing

Helmut Wollmersdorfer helmut.wollmersdorfer
Wed May 31 14:19:12 CEST 2006

Christoph Sch?fer wrote:

> following the list for more than two years now, I have recognised that a lot 
> of people use/tried to use Scribus for scientific publishing purposes -- with 
> more or less success. 

Don't forget technical documentation where DocBook is widely used.

> In case enough people are interested, I would add a discussion article to the 
> wiki or create a metabug on the bugtracker. 

I would like a more general discussion about requirements and design - here.

First, let's define the steps from the idea to a final printed product:

1. create content
1.1 text (a collection of characters)
1.2 pictures
2. markup
    Mark portions of text with attributes like title, section, reference,
    paragraph, table, footnote etc.
    DocBook.xml typically supports only 2.
3. define styles (font, size, intent, color, ...) for different markups.
    Most writing tools typically go from step 1. directly to step 3.
4. page layout
    Define page size, borders, page-numbers, columns, frames, background,
    bleed, resize and position pictures
5. calculate page numbers for use in table of contents (TOC), cross
    references, indizes
6. format pages for export e.g. PDF, which includes marks for printing
    and post-printing (cutting, folding, punching, collecting ...)
7. sheet layout
    arrange the pages on printing plates
8. print
9. post printing processes

Now it should be easy to define which steps should be supported by 
scribus, plugins, interfaces, or not.

IMHO scribus supports 3. to 6. at the moment.
Missing or poor support is mainly in 5. and 6. (marks, TOC ...).

Editing pictures is not the task of scribus, import and (re)format is 
enough. Also it should not be the task of scribus to create (business) 
charts - there are good tools.

The interesting question is which special (import) formats of text 
scribus should support.

There is some demand for the import of mass data coming from databases 
(in CSV) like address labels, dictionaries.

There is some demand for tables, formulas (math, chem).

I would like to have a WYSIWYG DocBook tool (editor, viewer, interface).

Helmut Wollmersdorfer

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