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

Gregory Pittman gregp_ky at yahoo.com
Sun Aug 23 19:36:45 CEST 2009

On 08/23/2009 10:06 AM, Professor Rodney Coates wrote:
> 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.
it may be that you don't have pdflatex...
> 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.
It's a matter of using the right LaTeX markup. Within some line of text, 
you could have, for example, $\mu$ and you will get the Greek mu 
character. The $'s put you in "math mode" so that this kind of symbol 
command is accessible. LaTeX has a highly developed math mode, with 
great ease of generating formulas, equations, and various math symbols.

John Culleton's comments notwithstanding, I use a simple text editor 
rather than an WYSIWYG software.

I don't think this is such an OT thread, since with the advent of 
Scribus versions 1.3.5+ we now have Render Frames, which can, among 
other possibilities handle LaTeX inside Scribus. There are many 
instances where working on your LaTeX outside of Scribus, then copying 
to a Render Frame makes the most sense. Who knows, maybe some day, we'll 
even have JC using Scribus for more than covers.


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