[scribus] Idea: MacGuffin

John Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Thu Nov 18 16:12:15 CET 2010

On Thursday 18 November 2010 07:47:50 a.l.e wrote:
> hi rolf
> > Reading this over, I think actually you wanted something else:
> >> When I suspect this might happen, I type ???, as in "...you can
> >> find the results of this event on page ???"
> >>
> >> As you may suspect, my batting average in converting the ??? to
> >> an actual page number is not as high as I would like it to be. I
> >> do most of
> >
> > That would call for an anchor-like element. A similar thing is a
> > word, e. g. the name of the month, which changes over the whole
> > document.
> >
> > Wouldn't it be the solution if you could set an anchor like "page
> > of xyz", and xyz is on page 23, so the text later reads "see page
> > 23"?
> >
> > And for my special case, in our church monthlies, I wouldn't have
> > to change all titles and master pages but only set the first one
> > to the new month - and all places which point to it would change.
> >
> > Is this your MacGuffin?
> if i understood correctly bruce's post a MacGuffin can be used as a
> workaround for the lack of real references in Scribus:
> you can use to mark references you still don't know where they
> point.
> but this is only one of its many uses.
> you can mark any place in the document where you want to be warned,
> that it's not ready for production:
> - untranslated words
> - bad pictures (you may even mark an area of the picture as a
> MacGuffin... am i dreaming)
> - a sentence you're not sure of
> - a missing title for an article
> - a quote you want to check
> - a bibliographic entry you have to check
> - a text you have to set in the correct color for the corporate
> identify of you client
> - an url you have to set.
> - a text you have to shorten
> anything you know now that it's wrong at the time you put in n your
> document but you may forget about it when producing the final PDF.
> the MacGuffin will show up as an error in the preflight verifier
> when you print your document or are exporting it to PDF and you
> will have a chance to fix it.
> if it's still not clear what a MacGuffin is, here a quote from the
> wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacGuffin) about a
> real MacGuffin in a film:
> """The MacGuffin is common in films
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film>, especially thrillers
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thriller_%28genre%29>. Commonly,
> though not always, the MacGuffin is the central focus of the film
> in the first act <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Act_%28theater%29>,
> and then declines in importance as the struggles and motivations of
> characters play out. It may come back into play at the climax of
> the story, but sometimes the MacGuffin is actually forgotten by the
> end of the film."""
> again: this is not a replacement for references. just a workaround.
> and a damn good workaround which could be useful in many cases!
> ciao
> a.l.e

All the features that people are asking for, and more are in all forms 
of TeX. But TeX lacks the WYSIWYG capability of Scribus, the choice of 
PDF x/1-a and so on. So I suggest a gradual merging of important parts 
of the TeX codebase into Scribus as the most cost effective way to get 
the full panoply of indexing, paragraph at a time justification, cross 
referencing and so on while keeping the self-evident virtues of 
Scribus in ease of use, drag and drop etc. The option adopted thus 
far, exiting into LaTeX primarily for formulae,is workable but not 
optimal. First, LaTeX is not the best choice among the many versions 
of TeX for integration. pdftex or the new variant luatex will require 
less boilerplate code and allow for greater flexibility. If the 
paragraph setting routines of TeX can be adapted for InDesign could 
they not be adapted for Scribus? 

Alternatively we can admit that Scribus is not useful for 
sophisticated book length projects and concentrate on expanding on its 
strengths. For example when screen output is selected for a pdf file 
the file could be much more compressed than a pdf scheduled for 
printing.  This would save much postprocessing. 
John Culleton, Wexford Press
"Create Book Covers with Scribus" $5.95 at

Free eps format barcode: http://www.tux.org/~milgram/bookland/

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