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Author Topic: Lots of questions from a Scribus noob with HTML background  (Read 1891 times)

Dracos

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Lots of questions from a Scribus noob with HTML background
« on: January 30, 2016, 06:22:45 am »
A couple weeks ago I began migrating my tabletop RPG rules from HTML to Scribus; currently 28 pages (of probably 130) into the migration.  As a long, long time web developer, I now feel very spoiled with what can be done easily with HTML and CSS.  I'm not saying DTP is hard, but I can see how tedious it can be.  Most of this post is going to be about how to replicate some of those techniques.  I'm currently using 1.4.3, but I have 1.5 installed.

I've got 16 Master Pages, 8 paragraph styles, and 6 character styles.  Easy enough so far.

All my pages are single column.  Most of the content is paragraphs, two levels of headline, and bulleted lists, with the occasional inset table.

Last night I went back and set up a TOC and sections (read: chapters) in the document.

Is there a way to add attributes to sections?  There are two text frames in the header area of my master pages, the outside one is meant for chapter title.  If I could put the chapter titles into a section attribute, I could then use the attributes to populate the header, TOC, and chapter title frames.  I could also use a section number (1, 2, 3, ...) to feed into my table captions, i.e. "Table n-3: Lorem ipsum", and a section ordinal (i, ii, iii, etc, correlates to section number).

Is there a way to generate a multi-level TOC?  There are only 13 chapters, but I'd like to beef up the TOC with indented lines for each top level headline.

So far I've been putting the body text into a single text frame (linked across pages, of course) and applying my normal and headline paragraph styles.  Is there a more sophisticated way to do it?

Is it possible to give my headline paragraph styles graphical SVG underlines that span the full margin width?  Could these be automated for left and right pages?

Is it possible to use an SVG as a bullet list image?  None of my dingbat fonts have a glyph I really like, so I made one in Inkscape.

Is there a way to anchor frames to specific words/lines in another text frame?  I'd like all my tables to move with their relevant paragraphs.  Getting the tables nicely aligned to the top of a line would be nice also.

When the document is done, how would I set up additional generated portions like the TOC?  Specifically, an index (entries linked to words/phrases in the body) and a list of tables (their captions and page numbers).  Ah, I forgot to mention I also have a few graphical diagrams, which could be included in the table list.

Regarding paragraph lines and page breaks: is it possible when a headline leaves less than 2 or 3 lines of the following paragraph at the bottom of a page, to automatically break to the next page?

Making tables is by far the most tedious thing in Scribus.  I have 53 now, ranging from small 3x2 to a gigantic 8x160 (it will probably span 4 pages).  Because of how I want them to look and because I want their content to be natively editable in Scribus, I've just accepted that I have to stitch them together by hand.  I've gotten very good a wielding the Alignment tools.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2016, 06:25:45 am by Dracos »

Nermander

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Re: Lots of questions from a Scribus noob with HTML background
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2016, 08:27:56 pm »
I don't have any good answers to your questions, but regarding your comparison to HTML one could say that evolutionary Scribus today is where HTML was in 1995. Scribus is FOSS and mostly developed by voluteers, which means development is slow. And "automation" features is one thing that lags behind a lot.

You say you have a lot of master pages and styles, but have you had a look at the Scrapbook? In the scrapbook you can place groups of objects (frames, lines etc) and by just double-clicking the Scrapbook they are inserted onto the current page.

Dracos

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Re: Lots of questions from a Scribus noob with HTML background
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2016, 11:05:01 am »
I can see where you were trying to go with the analogy, though I think it's flawed.  I know first hand how slow FOSS development can be.

I do have a few things in my scrapbook, but I don't use it much.  I've found it easier to keep a duplicate of an existing table on a page I haven't put text on yet, duplicate it again and turn it into the next table I need, resizing and realigning the cells to fit the new content.

This past week turned out to be very productive;  I got through another 15 tables and almost 30 pages of content, mostly because those two chapters required little special attention with regard to formatting.  The next thing on my plate is the gigantic table that will span 4 pages.  It has 17 sections, I'm considering breaking it up.  There are a couple structural changes I could make that would leave it more compact.

LilZebra

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Re: Lots of questions from a Scribus noob with HTML background
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2016, 03:37:03 am »
I don't have any good answers to your questions, but regarding your comparison to HTML one could say that evolutionary Scribus today is where HTML was in 1995. Scribus is FOSS and mostly developed by voluteers, which means development is slow. And "automation" features is one thing that lags behind a lot.

Wouldn't it help quicker development of Scribus if it were a part of a Google Summer of Code?

Have the devs. ever applied for this?

I know it has helped other FOSS software like GIMP and Inkscape in the past.
Linux (Fedora 22 i686_64). Scribus 1.5.3svn. MATE / GNOME 3.16 evince.

Nermander

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Re: Lots of questions from a Scribus noob with HTML background
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2016, 09:18:29 am »
Scribus has had several GSOC projects.


a.l.e

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Re: Lots of questions from a Scribus noob with HTML background
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2016, 11:00:11 am »
from my point of view (and my experience) what has most helped scribus development are external organisations or companies that have a specific need and take in their hands the project management and the programming of the feature(s).

gsocs were not bad, but have their downsides:

- no guarantee that the project is ready for prime time at the end of the gsoc period.
- gsoc students tend not to stick around after the gsoc period (so maintenance / further development is not always easy)
- much project management burden for the scribus people.

in the last few years scribus did not manage to make  gsoc submissions because:

- nobody prepared formal projects to be submitted to google,
- nobody was volunteering for mentoring.

of course, anybody can take one of those tasks and help the scribus team getting again gsoc slots :-)

but, as said above, the best way is to

- find a need,
- define how it should be implemented,
- find a programmer who is willing and skilled to implement it,
- (eventually communication with the team to check that everything is being done in a way they like)
- submit the patch.

in the recent past, this has worked for getting scribus to run from the command line and is currently working for getting ctl into scribus.