[scribus] how does scribus do justification?

avox avox at arcor.de
Mon Feb 8 14:25:41 CET 2010

Václav Šmilauer wrote:
>> 2. The ideas for Scribus' optical margins and glyph scaling where taken
>> from
>> pdfTeX. The way Scribus does line-by-line justification using normal and
>> minimum word spacing was my idea, but probably someone else had the same
>> idea before.
>> 3. I've a prototype for doing paragraph layout based on ideas from TeX,
>> but
>> it doesn't compile with current Scribus any more and has to wait for:
>> 4. Restructuring of the text data structures to allow a) flexible
>> association of glyphs with content chars, b) non-latin scripts, c)
>> structured text, d) box-based layout (as in TeX's boxes)
> I am reading the discussion here recalling
> http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/TextLayout which was aiming at library for
> paragraph breaking (using HarfBuzz for shaping), but it seems there was no
> activity along those lines so far, unfortunately.
The main target was unifying the text shaping code, with paragraph layout as
possible aim in the future.

> Would it be substantially more difficult to implement the paragraph
> breaking
> algorithm(s) as part of scribus that could be eventually used by other
> projects
> or turned into library?

Yes, libraries are always more difficult.
Especially with text layout: a library fixes the data structures used to
represent text and
layout, and most applications have their own needs what those data
structures should look like.
For example, Scribus uses Qt data types a lot, which is a no-no for OOo and
Gtk-based apps.
Scribus also needs formatting attributes and infrastructure  (undo, update
events) which wont
fit with other applications.

> I was looking that the text frame layout code in scribus and given its
> hairyness
> I would be afraid to touch it lest it breaks. 
Astute observation. You mean hairyness as in "the hair balls a cat pukes out
after it has eaten some grass", right?

> OTOH, having that separately would
> be an invitation for others (including me) to help with that.

We'll have to see. It would be nice if we had a common shaper library with
FontMatrix, at least as a first step.


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