[scribus] Automagically insert correct German quotation marks instead of manually inserting them?

John Jason Jordan johnxj at comcast.net
Thu Aug 26 18:15:29 CEST 2010

On Wed, 25 Aug 2010 12:19:56 +0200
"a.l.e" <ale.comp_06 at xox.ch> dijo:

>hi john,
>> Having said that, it just occurred to me that not all programs handle
>> the opening vs. closing quotes. Minimal text editors just use the
>> straight quotes. But all major programs do it correctly. 
>> But having said that i also realized that there are few rare
>> situations where even OOo does not do it correctly. For example,
>> there is a famous poem that starts with the contraction 'twas (for
>> "it was"). When I type 'twas I get an opening quote, but that
>> particular contraction is supposed to start with a closing quote. I
>> have to fool OOo by typing a letter, then the quote, then "twas",
>> then deleting the initial letter.
>> I wonder if OOo handles the German opening and closing quotes
>> correctly, or at least as correctly as it does the English opening
>> and closing quotes. If so, could Scribus borrow the code?
>afaict, most of the time the choice of the scribus team is to
>implement features that always work. at least for things that are print
>you don't want to print 2000 copies of your magazine before noticing
>that somewhere your quotes are wrong!
>(you know, when you automatically apply the quotes to 5 imported
>pages you may not notice that 'twas was at the beginning of a
>if the "mostly correct" is certainly a good approach for a word
>processor it may not be enough for a DTP app.

Speaking only of English here, the 'tis and 'twas contractions are
anomalies. They have also not been used much since Shakespeare. Off
the top of my head they are the only contractions in the entire language
where the deleted letter is at the front of the word. English
typographic conventions require a single close quote character for
contractions, thus creating a conflict with the otherwise perfect
automatic quotes in OOo. For what it's worth, InDesign and Word are no
better with these two contractions. 

I agree that Scribus needs to be better at typography than a word
processor. But at some point we must simply trust that the user knows
proper typography. I realize that such is quite different from the
philosophy of the TeX family. 

I never do my writing in Scribus, other than occasional minor edits.
Writing is what word processors are for. If OOo Writer does German
quotes correctly and automatically while typing, then for Scribus to
have the same feature is a nicety, but not a critical need.

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