[scribus] Indexing specification phase 2

Tornóci László tornoci.laszlo at med.semmelweis-univ.hu
Wed Jul 30 17:26:52 UTC 2014

On 06/29/2014 02:21 PM, john Culleton wrote:
> For my contribution to the Scribus indexing specification I have now
> completed phase 1 (tyro.tcl) and phase2. Please visit:
> http://wexfordpress.com/phase2.pdf
> for the latter item.
> I will hold off on phase 3 (refinements using xindy) until phase 2 is
> approved by the programmers.
> Comments and criticisms of the above referenced phase 2 document are
> of course requested.

Thank you John, for producing this specification. That's not the first
time you help other people (including me) on this list with indexing 
problems. I happen to be working on a book using Scribus, and I want to 
make a good index to it. I took the trouble and brushed up my knowledge 
on LaTeX, makeindex and xindy. So I cannot say I am an expert, but I 
definitely pay attention to details that English speakers tend to 
forget: i12n. To be short: xindy is the only acceptable solution right 
now. As far as I know even xindy doesn't support far Eastern languages 
at the moment. So xindy is not perfect, but makeindex is simply 
inadequate even for Hungarian (my mother tongue). Xindy has also other 
advantages over makindex: it is a lot more flexible in almost all aspects.

1. So please if anyone works on this project, use xindy for the external 
indexer, not makeindex. The only disadvantage of using xindy, that it 
seems to be a very niche product, it is usually not included in major 
linux distros, and there seems to be no windows or osx port yet. And 
their website (http://xindy.sourceforge.net) is actually misleading you 
if you want to download it, you should go here:

A few more notes to the above document: phase2.pdf

2. I don't think it is a good idea to keep an .idx file open all the 
time. The index items have to be stored in the scribus document file 
itself anyway, so the .idx file can be generated on demand any time it 
becomes necessary. It means it can be a temporary file. That also means 
the developers can change the .idx file format if they want to switch to 
another indexer. Or even better, you could support more than one indexer 

3. I also don't think the output of the indexer program should be as 
plain as it is suggested. The indexer program (xindy) can distinguish 
between different classes of index items (e.g. it is customary to use 
boldface for those page numbers where the topic is described in detail 
in a book). So the indexer can indicate which page numbers should be 
bold, which shouldn't. Since the output of xindy is extremely 
customisable, you could use e.g. xml structures to pass this info to 
scribus rather than just the plain strings. Or you could use some other 

					Yours: Laszlo

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