[Scribus] Research journal publishing
Mon Oct 9 15:02:47 CEST 2006
I'm currently testing Scribus (126.96.36.199 under Fedora) to see whether we
could use it for our research journals, as a possible replacement for
our existing DTP software, 3B2. Maybe it's a bit unfair to compare
Scribus with a very expensive piece of high-end software, but from what
I've seen of Scribus, it's very impressive. I'm keen on using
open-source software wherever possible, and I think Scribus is a
definite possibility for the near future. I have a few queries and
suggestions, mostly related to the text engine (some of these I think
are on the roadmap, but I'll mention them anyway). Please forgive me if
I've misunderstood anything.
One of Scribus's current weaknesses, from our perspective, is that there
seems to be very little control over hyphenation. For example, there
doesn't seem to be a way (except maybe by modifying the hypenation
dictionary) of stopping two-letter breaks like "ex-ample", which we
don't allow. I might be misunderstanding something here - is there any
way of manually tweaking the hypenation at particular points in the
text? For example, with our existing DTP system, if we insert a smart
hyphen (called a 'discretionary hyphen' in 3B2) at the beginning or end
of a word this stops it breaking. In general, a discretionary hyphen in
3B2 overrides the default hyphenation - can Scribus's smart hyphen
behave similarly . There is also a way of creating a user-defined
exception dictionary that overrides the built-in hyphenation dictionary.
This would be very welcome in Scribus.
Is there a way of going from a given point in a text frame to the story
editor, with the cursor at the corresponding place in the story editor?
At the moment it seem that the cursor is always positioned at the
beginning of the text, and it then takes time to locate the correct
point, especially in a document running to 10 or 20 pages. It would be
great if the story editor cursor would position itself at the same point
in the text as the text-frame cursor.
Another suggestion for the story editor. It would be good if all the
hidden structure (control codes, font changes, etc) of the text stream
could be optionally revealed (a bit like the old Wordperfect 'reveal
codes'). Also, it would be great if some sort of non-printable markup
could somehow be embedded in the text, for example to indicate authors'
first names and surnames (eg for later extraction by a script).
I'm looking forward to version 1.3.9 for the LaTeX support! Many of our
journals are heavily mathematical. At the moment we would have to limit
our use of Scribus to non-mathematical articles, or maybe lightly
mathematical articles, with equations imported as graphics. Is there any
sort of time estimate for version 1.3.9? I know that the nature of
open-source development makes this an unfair question, but I'm just
trying to get a rough ball-park figure (eg <6 months, <1 year, <2 years)
to help with my evaluation.
I'll stop there - that's enough for a first posting!
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