[scribus] OpenXTalk: Open Source Rapid Application Development and Scribus

Beth Rains bethbrains at gmail.com
Sat Nov 20 23:11:07 UTC 2021

  Hello Scribus!
I'm here to see if there'd be interest in adopting OpenXTalk as a
feature/companion to Scribus.

At the end of August 2021 Livecode Inc, announced that nobody but their
company was contributing to the source code and most of their users were
using the free Community Edition so without any warning they ended the open
source initiative of their Rapid Application Development environment and
pulled all their free Community Edition installers from their public facing
downloads page.

Paul McClernan stepped up and created the OpenXTalk project to carry on the
open source dream.

So here we are, three or six people who can't code C/C++ & Python
which limits our ability to get a rebranded free IDE out to  the public.
I'm stuck with compiler errors and I have no idea how to fix them. We all
come from a background with the IDE: Super simple English-Like scripting,
two or three button presses to compile to binary applications for Linux,
Windows, Mac OSX , Android, iOS and HTML5, so the advantage of  almost two
decades of simplicity has left us at a programming disadvantage. Like being
able to drive real fast, but not build a car from a box of parts..

Meanwhile, Paul dreams of adding desktop publishing features to the
Livecode/OpenXTalk IDE and I've dreamed of a page layout app that can
produce applications for decades. I even wrote QuarkXpress way back in 1997
with a long winded document all about that, soon after they had an XTension
that made something like super slow Myst experiences, that mutilated the
graphics by using PICT resources, and I had to make apps that were 320x240
just fit on ZIP disks.

So I got to thinking...what if you could design  desktop, mobile and/or
web applications inside of Scribus? I see you have some Python, which is
not as easy to script as xTalk even though it's insanely popular. It has a
lot of GUI frameworks but doesn't just come prebuilt with one.
I see you have Javascript for PDFS, that's interesting.
They don't seem to work directly in Scribus though?
They only work in Acrobat? No browser seems to take the MouseUp

But what if you had something even better than Python and Javascript? Well
maybe not better, but just easier and more application ready?.

You can get the Free Livecode Community Edition Installers at Archive.org
You can reach the OpenXTalk group via our forums <https://openxtalk.org/>
Or our subreddit  <https://www.reddit.com/r/openxtalk>
You can fork the source on Github

Livecode, Inc. doesn't want to associate with the open source at all, so
you'll have to Google for their forums and documentation, or just download
and install the apps and click around in the menus as a shortcut until we
can build our own binaries and replace all that.

So what I'm hoping for from Scribus as a software group and community is:
1. adoption of the xTalk language for scriptable Scribus
2. maybe some programming support since we are undermanned and
undereducated for this task at the moment
3.featuring the xTalk environment as a product suite with Scribus
4. and community feedback, general interest, cross development

It might take some time to work out the details but here it is on the table.
OpenXTalk is Paul's project but there's nothing stopping Scribus from
making SuperScriptableScribus from a fork of the GPLv3 code.

I should also mention that through the mysterious Builder Language
it is possible to wrap Python, Javascript, Lua and other libraries to the
IDE. without recompiling the whole project. This also allows for
development of custom widgets, like the web browser widget, SVG importer,
line chart widget, and native smartphone OS controls you can see in the IDE

I got about 2% into wrapping  rayLib <https://www.raylib.com/>to the IDE
with builder language before my lack of C knowledge stopped me cold. I have
an openGL window open at least. Baby steps.

One more interesting detail: there is a separate project that is bringing
xTalk to the web: Hyperscript <https://hyperscript.org/> It's very
promising. We could all work together to create a magical page layout,
desktop application, smartphone app, web experience powerhouse.

 Please enjoy your free copy of Livecode Community Edition on behalf of the
3,342  people who donated  £493,795 to make it open source in 2013. The IDE
should run smoothly for fourteen years or so if old copies on my machine
are any indication.

I hope to hear your views and would be very pleased for your support in any

Thanks for your attention.

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