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

Louis Desjardins louis.desjardins at gmail.com
Sun Sep 5 21:36:14 CEST 2010

2010/9/4 Gregory Pittman <gregp_ky at yahoo.com>

> On 09/04/2010 09:50 AM, Louis Desjardins wrote:
>> 2010/8/29 Gregory Pittman<gregp_ky at yahoo.com>
>>  On 08/18/2010 04:58 PM, a.l.e wrote:
>>>  On Wed, 18 Aug 2010 19:42:51 +0200
>>>> Thorsten Panknin<thp at thorstenpeh.de>   wrote:
>>>>  *bump*
>>>> no
>>>> a.l.e
>>> Here is something I've put together over the weekend:
>>> http://wiki.scribus.net/index.php/Convert_Typewriter_Quotes_to_Typographic_Quotes
>>> As written, it will convert typewriter quotes to typographic quotes in a
>>> single selected frame. The logic is a bit kludgy, but it performs pretty
>>> well. So far, you can choose English or German style quotes, others to
>>> come.
>>> Do not expect it to be perfect, you will still need to scan your document
>>> to
>>> see how it did, and as always, save your document just before running the
>>> script.
>> Hi Greg,
>> I was wondering whether this was a job for Short Words?
>> I have a dream that Short Words is the typographic tool we need to tackle
>> many of those issues.
>> In French, since the quotes are preceeded and followed by a word space, it
>> might be kind of tricky to set the rules for a computer to make the
>> appropriate call where a human would figure out in a fraction of a second
>> what is opening and what is closing...  But we could tell the computer to
>> look for the next quote and then set the first to opening and the second
>> to
>> closing. This might need much more thought...
>> (I left my answer unfinished for days and now I am reading the post by
>> Axel
>> Bojer, very interesting!)
>> What occurs to me is that unless there would be some coding mysteries (for
>> me at least!), such tables that make such auto replacements could
>> (should?)
>> be in the Short Word table?
>> We could then have a powerful tool to manage typographic rules according
>> to
>> each language (or even better, according to just any given case).
>> I think that Short Words is the home for this !
> Here is at least some of the trickiness that came out of writing this
> script, with its ugly tests. In the simple case, you have a left quote
> preceded by a space, and a right quote followed by a space.
> However, right away, you may have a block of text which begins with a quote
> or ends with a quote, so you must deal with these.
> You also have paragraphs which may begin or end with quotes. I had thought
> that I would look for some sort of 'newline' character, but it seems that
> certainly as of 1.3.8, we have a new scheme. If you look at the file format
> we now have, each paragraph is a separate block of text, thus from a getText
> point of view in scripter, you cannot test for a newline/new paragraph
> character, there is none.
> You also have situations where quotes can either lead or follow
> punctuation, at least in American English.
> So I ended with the very complex set of rules to end up, eliminating
> possibilities, then taking a stab at a default to follow the else: clause.
> I'm hoping that with a bit more time to understand how text frames are
> built with printing and nonprinting characters I can make this less ugly.
> A language like French presents 2 new problems, this business about the
> space between the double guillemets and the letter (trying to find the
> unicode for this space, which may not exist in all fonts), and that it
> quickly became impractical to place single guillemets, since there are so
> many apostrophes in French: d'etat, l'amour, and so on. Since I have no
> books in French, and also since searching the internet for display of
> typography is frustrating (first rule: there are no rules), I couldn't find
> out if the typographic apostrophe of d'etat is a curly quote or not. I ended
> up making an editorial decision to make them right curly quotes pending some
> negative feedback.

Actually, before the DTP revolution, the apostrophe has — to my knowledge —
always been a curved one! The straight one is used in scientific notation.
It’s only because the straight apostrophe was so readily available on the
keyboard that it was seemlessly and so widely introduced into the
typographic world.

There is some valuable info in this article from wikipedia

I strongly believe we can/could/should address typographic issues with the
mean of such a tool that can accomplish a series of automatic search &
replace on various glyphs or sequence of glyphs. Each language has it’s load
of rules and, yes, exceptions. It’s either a super search & replace which
could include spaces management as well as aspostrophe and quotes and
various other possibiliies — or an enhanced Short Words that allows to
define rules per languages.

To answer your questions, the apostrophe in d’état should be the curled one
and not the straight one, just like in English for just any elision like in
you’re, it’s, we’re, I’ve, I’m, couldn’t, shoudn’t, wouldn’t, doesn’t,
can’t, won’t, and dozens of others... isn’t it? :) By the way, I think hat
English makes a fair use of apostrophe too!

> In the end, I think I have illustrated how even the mighty Short Words may
> struggle with this issue. I think there will always be a disclaimer about
> this however it's done. Doing it with zero or very few errors may require
> something along the lines of language-specific artificial intelligence.

Most certainly yes.


> Greg
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