[Scribus] Usability needs attention -- time for a feature moratorium?
Sun Jan 27 09:55:10 CET 2008
John Jason Jordan wrote:
>> The Scribus stable version is almost up to its 12th point release, ie, we are
>> working on 126.96.36.199.. No major features are going into 1.3.3.x.
>> All new work is going into 1.3.5, and some of the issues we face with 1.3.3.x
>> can and will only be fixed with Qt4 and the versions developed with that
> There are some new features that I find essential and until they are
> fully implemented I can use Scribus only for an occasional small
> project. Specifically, I am referring to being able to import PDFs
> without converting them to bitmaps
What specifically do you mean by that?
Do you want to be able to place a PDF element on the page (like in an
image frame) and have it embedded without rasterisation when you export
the document to PDF? Because that isn't theoretically that hard, though
it requires some significant work on the PDF backend in Scribus and the
incorporation of a PDF import library. Someone who knew the PDF backend
code really well could probably do it (relatively) easily, embedding PDF
pages as XObjects . Non-raster export to PostScript is also probably
possible (when the PDF doesn't use transparency or other features
missing from PS3) by conversion to EPS. I've had a look at doing the
PDF-in-PDF embedding XObject work, but I really struggled with working
on the PDF backend code in Scribus and landed up moving on to other
things (ditto with implementing imposition in the PDF backend).
The other possible take on what you're talking about would be importing
PDF as fully editable objects. That's not impossible, but it's a whole
lot harder than embedding PDFs as resources, and it'd require a bunch of
changes and enhancements to Scribus's canvas to support all the various
PDF features. Even then, editable text would be exceptionally difficult
at best, probably just not practical. I'll be surprised if Scribus sees
a really faithful and reliable editable PDF importer any time even
remotely soon, if ever. Even Adobe's own products, like Acrobat
Professional, are rather limited when it comes to editing PDF and
sometimes mangle the PDF in the process.
> and, most importantly, tables. I
> also need to be able to create editable PDFs where I can specify any
> font I want for the controls.
That's a PDF version limitation IIRC; you need to be using a PDF version
with support for appearance streams on controls. Even then I don't think
you can control the font used for user data entry except for using one
of the core PDF fonts ( though I could easily be wrong about that ).
There was discussion about form control appearance streams some time
ago. I have no idea how far it went or if there's any support in trunk
> So in my opinion it would be nice if the the occasional problems that
> people report (like Ctrl-z not working as expected) can be fixed.
I agree, it'd be nice. There are, however, only so many people involved
and there's a whole lot to do.
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