[scribus] Is Scribus of No Practical Use to Engineers, Scientists and Mathematicians?

Professor Rodney Coates rcoates at seiche.com
Sun Aug 23 16:06:43 CEST 2009

Dear Owen,

I have been able to download and install Ghostscript, so an initial  
Ghostscript error message on starting Scribus now no longer appears. I  
do not know if Ghostcript has some part to play in Tex utilisation.

I have downloaded BasicTex for Mac and installed that also. However,  
when I click the Tex icon on the menubar, all I get is a message

The item "pdflatex -- interactive nonstopmode failed to start"

This is one of those error messages which really ought to bring scorn  
and derision on the programmer who implemented it. There is no point  
in providing meaningless error messages when the software is intended  
or presumed to have a wide and general use.

Error messages ought to convey some meaningful instruction which can  
be acted on to the benefit of the user.

Anyway, now I am back at square one. Clicking Tex - apart from  
producing the above error message - generates a text entry frame with  
handles on it,  within which is a further message: "render error".  
Pretty well useless, again, since it only states the obvious, that the  
software is not working, at least insofar as Tex/Latex is concerned.

Maybe you have some thoughts on these matters.

I have now also downloaded MathType and have it working in Page. I can  
type in equations - WISYWIG - which is brilliant. I can transfer pict  
images of the equations to Ragtime, so can procede there.

In RagTime I can change symbol fonts within a line of text so I can  
write things like "..... the symbol used for wavelength is the greek  
letter L ...... and L will come out as the proper lambda glyph.  
HOEWEVER, Symbol font DOES NOT WORK with this mail application, which  
is why L is L and NOT lambda. It does not work in Page, It does not  
work in TextEdit and it does not - of course - work in Scribus.

Symbol font does work in both Illustrator and Photoshop.

I also now notice that in Illustrator (but not in any of the other non- 
Adobe applications, TWO Symbol fonts are present, one followed by a TT  
(TrueType symbol and the other by a red lowercase cursive "a"  
presumably an "Adobe" symbol. Much the same in Photoshop.

For completeness, I have also just activated Word for Mac and that  
works fine, but with only a single Symbol font in the long fonts list.

Perhaps we might short-circuit things if I ask the following question.  
Even if I could get LaTex working, presumably I will never be able to  
insert a Greek character in a string of ordinary text? That is, within  
a sentence.

I can't believe I am writing this. There are GREEKS out there, for  
goodness sake. What do you expect them to do? They write this stuff  
all the time.

However, since I presume that I cannot, I can never EXPLAIN my  
equations, or define terms .... so maybe (back to my original e-mail)  
the advice has to be, bin Scribus before any more time and effort is  
wasted on it. Great pity!

I would really value you views on these points,


On 23 Aug 2009, at 11:34, Owen wrote:

>> The Symbol font will not display; Zapf Dingbats will not display;
>> Render Frame will not work (). Latex/Tex is not working/ 
>> available ....
>> I am a technical author. I need to set Greek symbols within lines of
>> ordinary text. I need to set mathematical formulae.
> If latex/TeX is not available, why?
> Do you have latex etc installed
> can you produce documents in Latex?
> If you have latex, I suggest you use that for the time being. it also
> has the advantage of making footnotes and reference list.
> Do your fonts display in Open office or whatever document editor you
> are using?
> -- 
> Owen
> _______________________________________________
> scribus mailing list
> scribus at lists.scribus.net
> http://lists.scribus.net/mailman/listinfo/scribus

Professor Rodney Coates, Ph.D., FIEEE
Seiche Ltd.
Swallow Court
LL65 4TA
+44 (0)1407 720 474
Mobile: 0787645020

rcoates at seiche.com

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