[scribus] Fwd: Improve typographic rule support

john Culleton John at wexfordpress.com
Wed Oct 26 20:45:48 UTC 2011

On Wed, 26 Oct 2011 16:05:45 -0400
Louis Desjardins <louis.desjardins at gmail.com> wrote:

> 2011/10/26 Gregory Pittman <gregp_ky at yahoo.com>
> > On 10/26/2011 10:13 AM, john Culleton wrote:
> >
> >>
> >> Observations:
> >> The TeX short line sample requires one less hyphen (5) than the
> >> Scribus short line sample (6), and fitted two more words onto the
> >> page. The OO short line sample required 7 hyphens. The Masterson
> >> InDesign short line sample required 5 hyphens. The other InDesign
> >> sample required 7 hyphens. Some designers are better than
> >> others :<)
> >>
> >>
> > My observations are that there is no inherently greater typographic
> > beauty when comparing TeX with the true DTP programs, including
> > Scribus.
> >
> > We see what we might expect from the wordprocessors, where an
> > excess of hyphenation occurs. Whether this is due to weaker kerning
> > or something else, I do not know.
> >
> > One can also see the trouble one gets into with narrow column full
> > justification with all of the methods. Unless one wants to do a lot
> > of manual tweaking or put up with ugliness, this combination should
> > be avoided.
> >
> I agree.
> Font, type size, width of justification, hyphenation rules, horizontal
> scaling, kerning, tracking, word spacing, glyph extension, all these
> variable are closely related to give the final result. In fact, in
> the PDF we see at least one ugly line that breaks the smoothness of
> the "typographic color" in all the methods. At some point, two
> parameters that can solve the issue: type size and the text itself.
> So, no matter the method, at some point only the eye can judge
> clearly what's good and what's not.
> >
> > In summary, I think the argument that the TeX method represents some
> > magical or ideal way to do this is not supported by the evidence.
> > Furthermore, any attempt to show a better or more pleasing result
> > should be done without any labels, so that one could focus on the
> > desired appearance rather than be swayed by the source.
> >
> Agree again. There is no magic. Just work and experience, a sharp eye
> used to spot details and appreciate the result, tweak again... And in
> the end, it might be also advisable to edit the text. So... really,
> no! No magic.
> Keeping an eye on *all* parameters. Slightly moving them in seemless
> changes can produce great results. Your readers will appreciate your
> work!
> >
> > At least in my view the superiority of paragraph-wide before line
> > algorithms has not been demonstrated.
> >
> > Greg

My paper isn't adequate evidence? I guess not. 

The thing I find with TeX is that excellent layout can be achieved with
minimal or no manual tweaking. I am sure that if we had Gutenburg
cutting each letter to make it fit in the particular line we could have
excellent results from type on a stick. Hence I find the argument that
if you tweak things manually you can get excellent results unpersuasive.
Of course you can. But if you look at the TeX source at the beginning
of my paper you can note that there is no manual manipulation of
individual lines at all. TeX did it all. That makes TeX the Gold
Standard IMO for laying out blocks of text in a novel, a memoir or a
history. After the initial parameters are entered the whole process can
be automatic.

I wonder which of the examples from other typesetting engines you
would consider equal to the TeX example? InDesign in the hands of
master typesetter Pete Masterson performs equally well, but InDesign in
other hands yielded inferior results.

I do not want to argue the point. Just tell me which other sample you
like as well or better. 

Would my paper be more convincing if I hid the names of the programs
and submitted the samples to a jury of publishers and authors? 

John Culleton
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